First-time home buyers

First-time home buyers to receive $4,000 tax break

Property taxes also to be frozen on apartment buildings, Ontario announces

The Ontario government will be moving the tax rebate up to $4,000 for first-time home buyers.

Finance Minister Charles Sousa announced the changes Monday at Queen’s Park, while presenting the fall economic statement.

“The housing market is an important source of economic growth and employment in Ontario and improving housing affordability will help more Ontarians to participate,” said Finance Minister of Ontario Charles Sousa.

First-time home buyers  won’t have to pay the land transfer tax for the first $368,000 of a purchase price and they will be eligible to receive up to $4,000 in rebate tax. The Ontario government will also freeze property taxes on apartment buildings. Meanwhile the land transfer tax for houses more than $2 million will increase by 0.5 per cent, from 2 per cent to 2.5.

The Ontario Real Estate Association says the average cost of a house in the province is about $380,000 and the $4,000 rebate will help first-time home buyers.

But the opposition says it’s not enough.

“The Liberals spin us a fairy tale type of balancing the budget with more spending, higher deficits and higher debt,”said Ontario PC finance critic Vic Fidelli.

The changes are to take affect on Jan. 1,  2017.