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The federal government has discontinued the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, a much-criticized program aimed at improving housing affordability for new buyers that saw muted uptake in major markets.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the national housing agency, said in a statement on its website that the program was winding up, with no new or updated submissions to be accepted after midnight ET on March 21.

Applications resubmitted after that date will be subject to a manual review, with review requests to be submitted no later than midnight ET on March 25 and no new approvals to be granted after March 31.

Introduced in 2019, the Incentive was aimed at reducing monthly mortgage payments for qualified first-time buyers through a shared-equity scheme. It offered a contribution of 5% or 10% towards the purchase of a newly constructed home, and 5% of the purchase of a resale existing home or new/resale mobile or manufactured home.

Still, that shared-equity component, which meant the government would also benefit from the potential future sale of a home, proved unpopular with buyers, who would have to repay the Incentive either after 25 years or upon sale.

The program faced challenges from the off. In 2020, federal Conservative MPs Tom Kmiec and Stphanie Kusie slammed its cost and low levels of consumer interest, urging CMHC to topdeo the scheme,  after an annual report showed its uptake lagged far below projections.

Mortgage Professionals Canada (MPC) also criticized the Incentive at its 2022 summit, when vice chair Veronica Love said the scheme was “simply failing” with data showing participation in the program was less than a third of what the government had originally envisaged.

Between its launch in September 2019 and the end of March 2021, the program had seen  LESS THAN 10,000 sucessfull applicants across Canada with Edmonton and Calgary accounting for nearly 2,000 of that total.


Time to spring forward with your mortgage goals!
 March 8 2024     Posted by John C Filice

As the days grow longer, we warmly welcome the arrival of spring a season of renewal and growth. Just as we set our clocks forward for daylight saving time, it's a perfect moment to take proactive steps in managing your mortgage goals. Whether you're considering buying a new home, refinancing, or making strides toward paying down your mortgage, I encourage you to "spring forward" this month!

Re-evaluate Your Mortgage Strategy
With the change of seasons, it's an ideal time to review your current mortgage. The market is constantly evolving, and refinancing could offer you better terms that weren't available when you first secured your mortgage. Refinancing can significantly reduce your monthly payments or even shorten the term of your loan, bringing you closer to a mortgage-free life.

Quick Tip: Regularly comparing your current terms with new offerings can uncover opportunities to save money.

Considering Buying a New Home
Spring symbolizes a fresh start, and for many, this includes the search for a new home. The spring real estate market is known for its increased inventory and opportunities. If you're considering making a move, now is the time to explore what's available.

Quick Tip: Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is an essential first step. It gives you a clear understanding of your buying power and positions you as a serious buyer in the eyes of sellers.

Accelerate Your Mortgage Payoff
One of the most effective ways to spring forward in your mortgage journey is by making additional payments toward your principal. This strategy can drastically shorten your loan term and save you a substantial amount in interest.

Quick Tip: Utilize any extra funds, like tax refunds or savings from cutting back on non-essential expenses, to make these additional payments.

Upgrade and Renovate
Considering some home improvements? Focus on upgrades that not only enhance your living space but also increase your property's value. Financing options such as a cash-out refinance or a home equity line of credit (HELOC) can be smart ways to fund these projects.

Quick Tip: Renovations like kitchen and bathroom updates tend to offer the best return on investment. Plan your upgrades wisely to maximize the value added to your home.

March is Fraud Prevention Month

As your Mortgage Broker, I'm here to remind you: stay vigilant, stay informed! Protect your financial health with these quick tips:

  • Stay Informed: Educate yourself about common types of fraud, including phishing scams, identity theft, and financial fraud.
  • Protect Personal Information: Safeguard your personal and financial information by using strong, unique passwords for online accounts, enabling two-factor authentication whenever possible, and being cautious about sharing sensitive information online or over the phone.
  • Verify Requests: Be skeptical of unsolicited requests for personal or financial information, especially if they come via email, phone calls, or text messages. Verify the legitimacy of any requests by contacting the organization directly through official channels before providing any sensitive information.
  • Monitor Accounts Regularly: Keep a close eye on your bank statements, credit reports, and online accounts for any unusual activity or unauthorized transactions. Report any suspicious activity to your financial institution immediately to prevent further fraud.
  • Stay Vigilant: Remain vigilant and trust your instincts when it comes to potential fraud attempts. If something seems too good to be true or feels suspicious, take the time to investigate further before proceeding.

By following these tips and staying proactive about fraud prevention, you can help protect yourself and your loved ones.


This spring let's embrace the momentum of the season to advance your mortgage goals. Remember, even small steps can lead to significant changes.

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