New Canadian Policies Aim to Support Homebuyers and Balance the Real Estate Market

The Canadian government has recently introduced several new policies aimed at aiding first-time homebuyers and addressing challenges in the real estate market. One of the significant changes is the increase in the amount that can be withdrawn from retirement accounts for down payments, rising from $35,000 to $60,000. Additionally, starting August 1st, first-time buyers with less than 20% down payment for new homes can extend their mortgage terms from 25 years to 30 years. For borrowers facing repayment difficulties, there will be options to negotiate with banks to lower monthly payments and extend the repayment period.

Another key change that will interest many is that the repayment period for withdrawals from retirement accounts, made between 2022 and 2025, can now be extended to five years from the previous two years. These measures, though detailed, aim to provide some relief and support to homebuyers.

However, it’s essential to understand the broader implications of these policies. According to Statistics Canada, only about 10% of Canadians have a post-tax income of $100,000. For a couple with a combined income of $200,000, these policies can be beneficial. But, considering the high housing prices, such as a $650,000 condo, even with these measures, affording a home remains challenging for many without additional financial support from family.

The reality is that many young buyers rely heavily on financial assistance from their parents. In 2020, parents across Canada contributed billions of dollars to help their children buy homes, often seen as a necessary but burdensome practice.

Capital Gains Tax Adjustment

In addition to these changes, the government has also adjusted the capital gains tax, significantly impacting real estate investors. Previously, capital gains on real estate investments were taxed at a rate where only 50% of the gain was included in taxable income. With the new policy, the inclusion rate for capital gains exceeding $250,000 will be increased to 67%. This means that for every dollar earned above the $250,000 threshold, 67 cents will be considered taxable income, rather than 50 cents.

Corporate real estate investors will face an even steeper challenge, with gains made by corporations taxed at a rate of 75%. This adjustment aims to curb the advantages previously enjoyed by corporate entities and ensure they contribute more to the tax revenue.

Implications for the Real Estate Market

The adjustments in the capital gains tax are designed to create a more equitable real estate market by leveling the playing field between large investors and individual homebuyers. However, the policy’s effectiveness will depend on several factors:

  1. Investment Strategies: Real estate investors will need to reassess their strategies in light of the higher tax rates. This might involve holding properties longer to maximize appreciation or focusing on high-yield properties that can offset the increased tax burden.
  2. Market Dynamics: The higher tax rates could potentially slow down the rapid turnover of properties, as investors might be more inclined to hold onto their investments to avoid the increased tax hit. This could lead to a reduction in the number of properties available on the market, impacting overall supply and demand dynamics.
  3. Investment in Quality Properties: Investors may shift their focus towards acquiring fewer, but higher-quality properties that promise greater returns. This strategy would help in absorbing the higher tax costs while still maintaining profitability. It aligns with the broader trend of moving towards more selective and strategic investments.
  4. Long-Term Market Health: By discouraging speculative investments and encouraging more stable, long-term holdings, the capital gains tax adjustment aims to contribute to a more balanced and sustainable housing market. This could, over time, help mitigate some of the affordability issues currently plaguing the market.


The Canadian government’s new policies show goodwill and effort to support homebuyers and create a fairer real estate market. While these measures provide some immediate relief, they don’t fully address the fundamental issue of housing affordability. For real estate investors, these changes mean navigating a market where profitability isn’t guaranteed without strategic and well-informed investments. The increased tax rates on capital gains will require investors to be more strategic in their investment decisions, focusing on long-term profitability and high-quality properties. Ultimately, the success of these policies will depend on how well they can balance the needs of homebuyers and the realities of the investment market.


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