‘A bright shiny object’: Industry reacts as First-Time Home Buyer Incentive axed

However, an April 2023 evaluation of the report showed that uptake of the program remained rooted well below its stated target of 100,000 users by March 2025 – with only 18,291 successful applicants by the end of 2022.

J.P. Boutros (pictured top), a prominent government relations advisor who was in Ottawa on behalf of Mortgage Professionals Canada (MPC) for the Budget lockup prior to the FHBI’s introduction in 2019, told CMP he had immediately viewed the measure as a “bright shiny object” and a “classic example of a policy designed to make it look like the government was doing something while doing little at all.”

He said the likelihood that the community would be burdened with the IT costs of integrating the untested FHBI into their system was an early red flag, noting that some lenders had reported huge expenditure on the program and criticizing the “untold millions” spent by CMHC to keep it in action.

James Laird, co-chief executive officer of Ratehub.ca and president of the CanWise mortgage lender, said the policy had been “flawed from the beginning” and said he was pleased to see it go.

“It’s a shame that it took them this long to admit the policy failure, but better late than never,” he said. “Allowing all consumers to amortize their mortgage over 30 years has always been a better way to help first-time homebuyers and would be an effective replacement for this program.”

Houses for Sale Ottawa under $400 000

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