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Alberta Realtors seek increase in government Home Buyer Plan

Albertan agents seek increase in HBP

by John Tenpenny23 Sep 2015                                              
                        The Realtors Association of Edmonton is urging all federal candidates to support an increase to the maximum borrowing amount available to consumers through the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP).
Some parties’ failure to support expansion of this program indicates that they do not recognize the fundamental role of real estate transactions in the health of the economy. An expanded HBP could make a real difference to the economy during this difficult time, especially in Alberta, according to a press release issued by the Realtor group.
Due to inflation, the $25,000 permissible borrowing amount available to first-time homebuyers from a Registered Retired Savings Plan is losing its purchasing power. The plan hasn’t seen an increase to the maximum borrowing amount since 2009. The Realtors Association of Edmonton strongly believes that the HBP must keep pace with economic inflation in order to keep homeownership affordable for Albertans.
“Current economic uncertainty is dissuading some people from entering the market. An increase to the borrowing amounts available through the HBP will make home ownership a reality for many who might not otherwise enter the market,” said Michael Thompson, President and CEO of the Realtors Association of Edmonton.
“Improvements to the program could not come at a better time. An expanded Home Buyers’ Plan will have a direct positive impact on Alberta’s economy. The average home transaction in the prairies pumps an additional $44,400 of spending into the local market through consumer spending on furniture, renovations, and moving costs,” Thompson added.
According to research conducted by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), spin-off spending from homeowners using the HBP for their down payment will reach $2.9 billion in 2015, and will generate 22,000 jobs nationally.