First Time Home Buyers' Program



The First Time Home Buyers' Program reduces or eliminates the amount of property transfer tax you pay when you purchase your first home. If you qualify for the program, you may be eligible for either a full or partial exemption from the tax.

If one or more of the purchasers don’t qualify, only the percentage of interest that the first time home buyer(s) have in the property is eligible.

For example, if you qualify and purchase a property with a fair market value of $400,000 with a person who doesn’t qualify you would still qualify. If you owned a 60% interest in the property, 60% of the tax amount would be eligible for the exemption.

To qualify for a full exemption, at the time the property is registered you need:

  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident

  • have lived in B.C. for 12 consecutive months immediately before the date you register the property or filed at least 2 income tax returns as a B.C. resident in the last 6 years

  • have never owned an interest in a principal residence anywhere in the world at any time

  • have never received a first time home buyers' exemption or refund

and the property must:

  • be located in B.C.

  • only be used as your principal residence

  • have a fair market value of:

  • $475,000 or less if registered on or before February 21, 2017, or

  • $500,000 or less if registered on or after February 22, 2017

  • be 0.5 hectares (1.24 acres) or smaller

You may qualify for a partial exemption from the tax if the property:

  • has a fair market value less than:

  • $ 500,000 if registered on or before February 21, 2017 or

  • $ 525,000 if registered on or after February 22, 2017

  • is larger than 0.5 hectares

  • has another building on the property other than the principal residence

First Year of Ownership

At the end of the first year you own the property you will receive a letter. The letter is to conditionally confirm that you meet the occupancy and property value requirements after you:

  • purchase an existing home, or

  • purchased vacant land and built a home

Existing Home

To keep the tax exemption you must have:

  • moved into your home within 92 days of the date the property was registered

  • continued to occupy the property as your principal residence for the remainder of the first year

You may keep part of the exemption if you moved out before the end of the first year.

If the owner passed away, or the property is transferred because of a separation agreement or a court order under the Family Law Act before the end of the first year, you still qualify to keep the tax exemption.


Built New Home

If you registered a vacant lot and built your own home, to keep the tax exemption:

  • the fair market value of the land when you registered the property plus the cost to build your home must be:

  • $500,000 or less if registered on or before February 21, 2017, or

  • $525,000 or less if registered on or after February 22, 2017

  • you must have built and moved into your home within 1 year of the date the property was register

  • you must have continued to occupy the property as your principal residence for the remainder of the first year

You may keep part of the exemption if you moved out before the end of the first year.

Newly Built Home Exemption

If your first home is considered a newly built home, you may qualify for the Newly Built Home Exemption.

We will help you to find out if you are eligible and walk you through the other existing programs for the First Time Home Buyer:

· First Time Home Buyer programs

· First Time home Buyers Tax Credit

· RRSPP Home Buyers Plan

· Land Transfer Tax Rebate

· First Time Home Buyers Loans