To help lessen the impact the HST will have on B.C.’s real-estate market, the province is proposing increasing the threshold for the new housing rebate.

The new rebate threshold is $525,000, up from $400,000, Finance Minister Colin Hansen said.

“We heard the concerns from consumers and industry about how the HST might affect home buyers, and this increase will move the threshold to above the average new home price in the province,” Hansen said.

The maximum rebate is $26,250, which Hansen said is the highest maximum provincial rebate in Canada.

The HST kicks in July 1.

A spokeswoman for the Canadian Homebuilders Association of B.C. said the organization was looking for a threshold number closer to $600,000. Homes in B.C.’s urban centres, like Vancouver and Victoria, are on average the most expensive in the country.

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