Canadian Federal Budget 2024: Housing and Real Estate Highlights

On Tuesday, April 16th, the Canadian federal government revealed its highly anticipated 2024 budget, showcasing a robust array of new and ongoing initiatives designed to address the nation's housing challenges. With a particular emphasis on creating new housing options and enhancing affordability for both renters and prospective homeowners, the budget announcement outlined several key policies and funding commitments that are poised to make a significant impact. Here's a closer look at some of the standout housing-related measures unveiled in this year's budget:

Canadian Renters' Bill of Rights: Recognizing the growing trend of Canadians renting for longer periods before transitioning to homeownership, the budget proposed the creation of a Canadian Renters' Bill of Rights. This initiative aims to establish a nationwide standard lease agreement, require landlords to disclose rental price history, and allow tenants to report rental payments to credit bureaus to bolster their credit scores.

Funding for New Housing Construction: The budget unveiled the Canada Builds initiative, which will see billions of dollars allocated towards the construction of new housing. This includes a significant investment in the Apartment Construction Loan Program to build more rental accommodation, as well as funding for the Canadian Housing and Mortgage Corporation's Housing Accelerator Fund to construct 12,000 new housing units.

30-Year Mortgage Amortizations for First-Time Buyers: Starting August 1st, first-time buyers purchasing newly constructed homes will have access to 30-year mortgage amortizations, a product previously available only to those with a down payment of at least 20%. This change is expected to reduce monthly mortgage payments for eligible buyers.

Amendments to the Home Buyers' Plan: To assist homebuyers in saving for a down payment, the budget increased the withdrawal limit on the Home Buyers' Plan from $35,000 to $60,000, effective immediately.

Support for Single-Family Home Suites: Recognizing the benefits of secondary housing units, the budget allocated $409.6 million over four years towards a Canada Secondary Suite Loan Program. This program will enable homeowners to borrow up to $40,000 in low-interest loans for adding secondary suites to their homes.

Capital Gains Inclusion Rate Increase: The budget proposed an increase to the inclusion rate on capital gains above $250,000 from one-half to two-thirds. This change, effective June 25th, will impact capital gains realized annually by individuals, corporations, and trusts.

New Funds for Post-War Housing Catalog: In a bid to accelerate the creation of much-needed housing, the budget allocated $11.6 million towards the development of 50 standardized home designs, including plans for row homes, fourplexes, sixplexes, accessory units, and modular homes.

Conversion of Public Lands into Housing: To address land scarcity issues, the government announced plans to utilize public lands for new housing. This includes leasing public land to builders and converting federal office buildings into housing, with a goal of building 250,000 new homes by 2031.

These measures represent a comprehensive approach to tackling Canada's housing challenges, aiming to create more housing options and improve affordability for Canadians across the country. As these policies are implemented in the coming months and years, they are expected to have a tangible impact on the housing landscape, offering new opportunities for renters and homebuyers alike.

For those interested in learning more about the 2024 federal budget and its housing-related initiatives, the full budget announcement can be accessed