The Realtors Association of Edmonton is urging all candidates in the 2015 federal election to support an increase to the maximum borrowing amount available to consumers through the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP). The association says in a news release that “some parties’ failure to support expansion of this program indicates that they do not recognize the fundamental role of real estate transactions in the health of the economy.  An expanded HBP can make a real difference to the economy during this difficult time, especially in Alberta.”

The association says that due to inflation, the $ 25,000 permissible borrowing amount available to first-time homebuyers from a registered retired savings plan is losing its purchasing power. The plan hasn’t seen an increase to the maximum borrowing amount since 2009.

“Current economic uncertainty is dissuading some people from entering the market.  An increase to the borrowing amounts available through the HBP will make home ownership a reality for many who might not otherwise enter the market,” says Michael Thompson, president and CEO of the association.

“Improvements to the program could not come at a better time. An expanded Home Buyers’ Plan will have a direct positive impact on Alberta’s economy. The average home transaction in the prairies pumps an additional $ 44,400 of spending into the local market through consumer spending on furniture, renovations and moving costs,” Thompson added.

According to research conducted by CREA, spin-off spending from homeowners using the HBP for their down payment will reach $ 2.9 billion in 2015, and will generate 22,000 jobs nationally.


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