In response to the Parti Québécois promise to increase the tax credit for the purchase of a first property if it comes to power on Oct. 1, the Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards (QFREB) is calling on the three other political parties to propose concrete measures to facilitate access to homeownership.
QFREB has been pushing the government for many years to implement a transfer tax refund program for first-time homebuyers. The homeownership rate in Quebec (61 per cent) remains considerably lower than the Canadian average (68 per cent), says the association.
In its 2018-2019 budget, the Government of Quebec took a first step in this direction by granting a $750 non-refundable tax credit for the purchase of a first home. The bonus proposed by the Parti Québécois would increase the amount of the provincial tax credit to $1,250.
The association says two avenues should be considered: converting the non-refundable tax credit into a refundable tax credit and increasing the value of the existing tax credit.
“There is no question that real estate transfer taxes (known as the welcome tax) are an impediment to homeownership for many Quebecers. The commitment made by the Parti Québécois is certainly a step in the right direction, but Quebec can do a lot better in helping first-time homebuyers,” says Patrick Juanéda, QFREB president.