New housing relief has little impact locally

New housing relief measures likely won’t bring any relief to the housing market in the Greater Trail region.

New housing relief measures introduced by the province recently likely won’t bring any relief to the housing market in the Greater Trail region, says a local real estate agent.

Fred Behrens of Coldwell Banker said the housing relief measures brought in April 1 largely apply to newly constructed homes in the $525,000 to $850,000 range.

He said the incentives announced by the government touch on a wide spectrum of people, from first time buyers, new home construction, existing homeowners who plan to purchase vacation homes, and seniors who want to retrofit their homes.

The measures are to stimulate the economy through new construction and substantial renovations, in most cases primary residences (except vacation homes).

The changes include an increase to the new housing HST rebate threshold to $850,000. That means British Columbians buying a new home as a primary residence are eligible for a rebate of the provincial portion of HST up to $42,500, based on this higher threshold. More than 90 per cent of newly built homes are below this threshold.

“The devil is always in the details, though,” Behrens said. “In our area, there are not that many newly constructed homes being built in (that) range, so it probably won’t have a big effect. But an increase to the upper limit can’t hurt.”

As well, the purchase of a newly built secondary vacation home up to $850,000 — built outside of the greater Vancouver/capital area — has to have all of the HST paid up front. But people need to apply and qualify for the grant directly from the B.C. Ministry of Finance afterwards.

A new B.C. Seniors’ Home Renovation Tax Credit of up to $1,000 annually — giving back 10 per cent of an expenditure — is available to help with the cost of permanent home renovations that provide people aged 65 and over with increased independence.

“It is better than nothing but I don’t think that will be a determining factor for most seniors to make the decision to renovate their home,” said Behrens. “A more significant rebate in the 30 per cent range would make a bigger difference.”

He said people need to spend the money up front before receiving a tax credit.

“Either you have the money or you don’t,” he said.

A bonus of up to $1,000 for first-time buyers of newly built homes was also announced.

This refundable tax credit comes with a lot of stipulations including eligibility, said Behrens. Most first time homebuyers in Greater Trail don’t build new homes because they are not priced at entry-level affordability.

“If the government really wanted to stimulate the new housing starts they might want to reconsider the eligibility standards,” he said.

Behrens felt many of the announced provisions were only transitional while the province prepares to release new PST/GST rules.

For more information on these new measures, please visit: and

Just Posted

Photo: Trail Times
Trail RCMP start June by nabbing impaired drivers

Latest brief from the Trail and Greater District police

“This is very costly to replace and it seems that Rossland is getting more and more theft and vandalism happening, which is really unfortunate,” says the commission’s Michelle Fairbanks. Photo: Submitted
Two plaques stolen from Rossland heritage square

The plaques were located at Washington and Columbia by the Olaus statue

No matter your age, the city’s two skate park hosts Jaryd Justice-Moote (left) and Brenden Wright can help you roll into a new pastime this “Summer at the Skatepark.” Photo: City of Trail
Free coaching at the Trail Sk8Park begins next month

The city is rolling into a summer of inclusive recreation by, for… Continue reading

Pastor Tom Kline
‘Why I became a Christian’ with Pastor Tom Kline

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also… Continue reading

Protestors blocking Columbia Avenue Saturday evening. Photo: Betsy Kline
Old growth protesters begin 24-hour blockade of Castlegar’s main street

Members of Extinction Rebellion plan to stay overnight

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read