CMHC’s First-Time Home Buyer Incentive Nears Its Conclusion 

Many people looking to buy their first home are finding it more achievable with the help of government programs such as the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) First-Time Home Buyer Incentive.

Imagine you are ready to buy your first home, and you have been counting on a little extra help from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) First-Time Home Buyer Incentive.

But now, you have heard the news: the program is ending. What does this mean for you?

Let’s start to understand them one by one.

What was the CMHC First-Time Home Buyer Incentive?

What was the CMHC First-Time Home Buyer Incentive?

Launched in September 2019, the FTHBI was a government-backed program designed to help first-time homebuyers with their down payment.

It provided a financial contribution of up to 10% of the purchase price for existing homes and 5% for new buildings. This essentially meant the government shared a portion of the ownership stake in your home.

Through this program, eligible participants could receive a shared equity mortgage with the government, reducing their monthly mortgage payments and making homeownership more accessible.

How Did the FTHBI Work?

How Did the FTHBI Work?

The Canadian government has yet to officially state the specific reasons behind ending the FTHBI program. However, some potential factors might have influenced the decision:

  • Impact on Housing Affordability: There were concerns that the program could contribute to rising housing prices as more buyers entered the market with increased purchasing power.
  • Program Complexity: The FTHBI had its share of complexities, and some argued it might have added an unnecessary burden to the homebuying process.
  • Alternative Programs: There are other government initiatives aimed at assisting first-time homebuyers, and the FTHBI might have been seen as overlapping with these programs.

What Does This Mean for First-Time Homebuyers ?

What Does This Mean for First-Time Homebuyers ?

The end of the FTHBI does not mean the dream of homeownership is out of reach. Here are some alternative options to consider:

  • Save for a Larger Down Payment: While a 20% down payment is ideal, even a 10% down payment can significantly reduce your mortgage amount and monthly payments. Focus on saving diligently to increase your down payment and strengthen your application.
  • Government Programs: Explore other government initiatives like the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP), which allows you to withdraw funds from your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) for a down payment. Remember, these programs might have specific eligibility criteria.
  • First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit: While not a direct financial contribution, the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit provides a non-refundable tax credit to help offset some of the closing costs associated with buying your first home.
  • Consider Different Housing Options: Depending on your location and budget, explore alternatives like condos, townhouses, or smaller single-family homes.
  • Seeking Professional Guidance: Navigating the complexities of the housing market can be daunting, especially for first-time buyers. Consulting with a mortgage broker, financial advisor, or real estate agent can provide invaluable insights and guidance throughout the home-buying process.
  • Considering Co-Ownership or Shared Equity Arrangements: Collaborative homeownership models, such as co-ownership or shared equity agreements with family members or trusted partners, can offer a pathway to homeownership while spreading financial responsibilities.


As CMHC’s First-Time Home Buyer Incentive draws to a close, Canadians stand at a crossroads in their pursuit of homeownership.

While the program provided much-needed support to aspiring buyers, its expiration underscores the need for sustainable, long-term solutions to housing affordability challenges.

In the coming years, individuals looking to purchase a home will need to adjust to a changing real estate environment.

This will involve considering alternative routes to owning a home, placing a strong emphasis on understanding personal finances and effective planning, and actively supporting policies.

It ensures housing is affordable and accessible to all members of the Canadian community. You can consult with the RE/MAX Millennium agent to make the right decision.

In doing so, we can work towards a future where homeownership is within reach for individuals and families across the country.

So, are you looking to start a career in real estate? RE/MAX offers exciting opportunities for ambitious individuals. Join the RE/MAX Millennium career that gives a global network of top-performing agents and access to comprehensive training and support to kickstart your success.

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