Alberta First Time Home Buyers Incentives

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Photographer: Toa Heftiba | Source: Unsplash

Think renting is the only option right now? Unfortunately, renting a home in Edmonton is increasingly challenging. The good news is that there are some excellent Alberta first time home buyers incentives that may make it easier to buy a home, even with rates on the rise.

Increasing pressure on home rental market in Edmonton and Calgary

Given rising interest rates, some Albertans may be hesitant to jump into the real estate market right now and will continue to rent for the foreseeable future. While that is absolutely understandable, recent reports suggest that there is increasing pressure on the rental market in both Edmonton and Calgary.

Factors such as population growth and rising mortgage rates will continue to push vacancy rates lower and rental costs higher over the coming years. For many, this may feel like they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place having to choose between paying more in mortgage payments while rates are higher, or fighting for limited rental inventory and worrying about yearly increases in rent.

Alberta housing market positioned to weather the storm better than other provinces

Alberta real estate, particularly Edmonton homes for sale, represents some of the best value in the country right now. Edmonton has not experienced the exponential increases in home prices that other major cities like Vancouver and Toronto have seen. Savvy first time homebuyers will have great options at an affordable price point, particularly among townhomes or row houses, duplexes, and condos for sale in Edmonton. Even detached single-family homes remain quite affordable.

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Tighter rental market means locking in a shorter term mortgage rate may be a better option

While no one has a crystal ball that can predict exactly when it will happen, we know that what goes up will come down and mortgage rates won’t increase forever. It may be worthwhile to weather the storm as a homeowner rather than a renter so that there is a degree of security in terms of monthly costs over the next few years.

Alternatively, you may be at the whim of a landlord or management company who will seize the opportunity to capitalize on low vacancies and high demand.

Top Alberta first time home buyers incentives

Alberta first time home buyers incentives make it easier for first timers to purchase their first home. Even now, with mortgage rates higher than the record lows we’ve seen in recent years, these incentives can help take the sting out of buying a home.

First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit

Qualifying home buyers purchasing their first home may be eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $750 on their income tax (this amount may be increasing to $1,500 in the near future).

Keep in mind that you will claim this tax credit for the tax year in which you purchased your home. If you buy your home in February 2023, you’ll claim the rebate when you file your 2023 taxes, which is early-2024.

For more information including rules and forms, go to

RRSP Home Buyers Plan (HBP)

First time home buyers may borrow up to $35,000 from their RRSP to help with the downpayment of their first home. If you and your spouse or partner are purchasing the home together, you can each borrow up to $35,000 for a total of $70,000 to put towards the down payment. This applies to homes you wish to buy or build.

The key word to note here is “borrow” as you will have 15 years to repay the amount borrowed to your RRSP.

For more information including rules and forms, go to

First Time Home Buyer Incentive

The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive offers 5 or 10% of your home’s purchase price to put toward a down payment. Increasing the down payment reduces mortgage costs overall and helps to make home ownership more affordable.

This program is a shared equity instrument. Homebuyers choose to borrow an extra 5% or 10% of the down payment of their first home and then repay the Government the corresponding percentage (5% or 10%) of the property’s market value at the time of repayment, up to a maximum repayment amount equal to:

  • In the case of appreciation, the Incentive amount plus a maximum gain to the Government of 8% per annum (not compounded) on the Incentive amount from the date of advance to the time of repayment; or
  • in the case of a depreciation, the Incentive amount minus a maximum loss to the Government of 8% per annum (not compounded) on the Incentive amount from the date of advance to the time of repayment.

The incentive must be paid in full after 25 years or when the home is sold.

For more information including rules and other repayment triggers, visit

CMHC Eco Plus

This program offers a partial premium refund up to 25% for homeowners who are CMHC insured and own homes that meet specific energy efficiency criteria.

To qualify, your home must have an energy efficiency certificate or meet energy efficiency or greenhouse gas targets.

For more information including additional criteria details and application process, visit

Other Alberta first time home buyer incentives and credits:

  • First Place Program in Edmonton teams with banks and builders to develop vacant surplus school building sites into attractive townhomes. The homes are market priced, with a 5 year deferral on the land portion of the mortgage, making them more accessible to first time home buyers.
  • Residential Access Modification Program (RAMP) provides low-income Albertans with mobility challenges grants to modify their homes.
  • Attainable Home Calgary helps eligible residents in Calgary reduce the downpayment for one of the program’s designated homes to just $2,000 with a no-interest loan for the remaining 5% down payment amount required.
With nearly 20 years of experience in Edmonton real estate, Wally has helped hundreds of first-time homebuyers navigate the home-buying process.
Call/text Wally at 780.238.7384 to discuss your options today.
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