First Time Home Buyer in BC

The BC Government has a program to help 1st time home buyers break into the market and become home owners, that reduces or eliminates the Property Transfer Tax

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

  • 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

        Foreign entities and taxable trustees are not eligible for the exemption. If you are an individual who doesn’t qualify because you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, but you become one within 12 months of when the property is registered, you may apply for a refund of the property transfer tax. To apply for a property transfer tax refund in this case, call 250 387-0555.
          Find out if you are eligible to claim a refund of any additional property transfer tax you may have paid.

              Apply


                To apply for the First Time Home Buyers' Program, select or enter exemption code FTH on the Property Transfer Tax Return.
                  After you have applied you must meet additional requirements during the first year you own the property to keep the tax exemption.

                      Penalty for False Declaration


                        All applications are reviewed. You will be charged a penalty equal to double the tax if you falsely declare that:
                          • you have never owned an interest in a principal residence anywhere in the world at any time, or
                          • you have never received a first time home buyers' exemption or refund

                            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 registered
                                            • 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.
                                                      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.

                                                          Refunds


                                                            To apply for a refund:
                                                              1. Complete, print and sign the First Time Home Buyers' Application for Refund (FIN 265) (PDF)
                                                              2. Scan the completed form and any required supporting documentation and either:
                                                                    • Send them electronically using our secure online service
                                                                    • Email them to pttenq@gov.bc.ca