First-time buyers "save and save," Bev McIvor said in an interview yesterday -- and "to find out they are going to have to pay some kind of property-purchase tax really makes a difference."Sorry, Bev. Some FTBs "save and save" but many FTBs "borrow and borrow" from their parents, banks and credit cards just to come up with a down payment. And now that you don't need a down payment, many FTBs are getting into the market when they otherwise couldn't have, and when some economists would argue, that they shouldn't have. Dropping $7,000-$10,000 on a house priced between $430,000-$480,000 will not make a lick of difference for affordability.
"Government can argue that the threshold still nicely applies to the condominium market but we believe the intent of the program was not to restrict assistance to only buyers of condominiums."I haven't heard that argument from government. And guess what? FTBs can leave Victoria and Vancouver and buy a really nice house and qualify for the exemption. Which, it seems, many are considering, and actually doing.