Incentives For First-Time Buyers

First-time homebuyers have a number of Government programs and incentives available to them that current and previous homeowners don’t. The following Government initiatives are available for first-time buyers only:

The Home Buyers' Plan (HBP)

This is a government program that allows first-time homebuyers to withdraw up to $35,000 tax free from their RRSP ($70,000 per couple) to purchase or build a home. The funds can be used for the down payment or for purchase related items such as furniture, moving expenses or closing costs. This program has a number of qualifying requirements. Here are some of them:


  • You must be a resident of Canada and the home must be your principal residence.
  • The funds must be in your RRSP for a minimum of 90 days.
  • To be eligible you cannot have owned a home in the preceding 5 years.
  • You must replenish your RRSP over a 15 year period, or sooner, to avoid paying tax.

For more information go to this website.

First Time Home Buyer Incentive
In November 2019, the government introduced the ‘First-Time Home Buyer Incentive’ program with the intention of helping qualified buyers reduce their monthly payment without increasing the amount they need to save for the down payment.  To qualify, buyers must have saved the minimum 5% required for insured mortgages.


Under the program, the government would contribute an additional 5% towards the down payment on an existing home and up to 10% on a newly built home. The buyer must repay the incentive after 25 years or when the property is sold – whichever is earlier.  More details on this program can be found at
Land Transfer Tax Refund
First-time homebuyers may be eligible for a land transfer tax refund of up to $4000. This is a significant since the land transfer tax amounts to almost 1% of the purchase price of a home. Buyers who are not purchasing their first home must still pay this tax. For more information go to this website.
Homebuyers' Tax Credit
The first-time homebuyer’s tax credit is a federal initiative that provides up to $750 in tax relief to first time buyers. To claim your credit you must apply for it on your T1 General tax return. For more information go to this website.
City of Kingston Down Payment Assistance Program
From time to time the City of Kingston offers down payment assistance programs designed to help first-time buyers with their down payment. Applicants must be buying a home in the City Kingston or the County of Frontenac. You must have a mortgage pre-approval and there are restrictions on purchase price and income. Upcoming programs will be advertised in local newspapers and details may be found on the City of Kingston website when available.

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