“I’m seeing more borrowers being required to be added to the file, so we’re using all of our abilities to bring in every piece of income that we can for a borrower,” she said.
“The child tax credit, the first-time homebuyer grant – we’re using all the pieces we can to get them into the market. But first-time homebuyers are still there, they’re strong, and they’re still buying homes.”
The federal government’s first-time homebuyer incentive, which offered new buyers assistance funding a downpayment through a shared equity program, has proven virtually unusable in red-hot markets because it only provides a loan of up to 10% the downpayment amount for a newly constructed home, and 5% for a resale or existing home.
That’s normally not sufficient to substantially reduce affordability hurdles – but Pikkert said the program hasn’t proven successful among her clients either, with the shared equity component usually the sticking point.
“I know I offer it to a lot of my prospective buyers, but there’s still a hesitation on their part,” she said. “They feel they don’t want the government to have a second mortgage on their property – so I’m going to say maybe only 5% of my buyers [use it].”