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BMO Investment Survey: Over Half of Canadian First-Time Homebuyers Likely to Use First Home Savings Accounts, but Many Unaware of its Features and Benefits
  • Over half (52 per cent) of potential first-time homebuyers say they are likely to use the new FHSA
  • About two thirds (69 per cent) of Canadians say they are not knowledgeable about the account
  • Almost one quarter (24 per cent) of parents are likely to use the account to help their children save for their first home

TORONTO, Dec. 7, 2023 /CNW/ - BMO's 14th Annual Investment Survey reveals that while there is growing awareness of First Home Savings Accounts (FHSA), there is a knowledge gap when it comes to understanding the account.

The survey reveals over half (52 percent) of Canadians looking to buy a home for the first time are likely to use the FHSA to help save for their home purchase, and almost quarter (24 per cent) of parents are likely to use the account to help their children save for the down payment of their first home. While many of the potential Canadian first-time homebuyers polled want to take advantage of the account, the survey also found 69 per cent of Canadians lack knowledge about the account.

"Homeownership continues to be an important milestone for many Canadians and their families and using all available tax advantaged accounts like the FHSA makes that a little bit easier," said Nicole Ow, Head, Retail Investments, BMO. "For those saving for their first home, Canadians should work with a professional advisor to help them understand the investment strategies available for this account and build a financial plan that will help them stay on-track towards their ultimate goal of home ownership and make real financial progress."

"Housing affordability is a problem facing many Canadians, and the FHSA is one way Canadians can work toward saving for that down payment to buy their first home," said Robert Kavcic, senior economist, BMO.  "While there are several economic forces working against people saving for their first home, the FHSA is one tool that can help people meet their savings goals and a program people should take note of when putting a plan together."

The FHSA combines some of the benefits of a Registered Retirement Saving Plan (RRSP) and a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA). The FHSA allows investors to hold several asset types within the account, which may include cash, GICs, ETFs, mutual funds or specific securities like stocks or bonds. FHSA contributions are tax-deductible, earnings are tax-sheltered, and withdrawals are tax-free when used towards qualified first-time home purchases. First-time home buyers can contribute up to $8,000 a year and that yearly contribution limit can be carried forward, with a lifetime contribution limit of $40,000.

BMO also offers tools and resources to help customers throughout their homebuying journey:

  • BMO SmartProgressCustomers can learn more about FHSAs in a new learning module available in BMO SmartProgress' homeownership playlist. BMO SmartProgress is an online education platform where Canadians can learn more about how to manage their finances.
  • Pre-ApprovalFor homebuyers, getting pre-approved provides a cushion for due diligence when purchasing a home. In addition to visiting a local branch to speak with an advisor, BMO allows homebuyers to apply for mortgage pre-approval online. To give extra time for house-hunting, BMO offers the longest rate guarantee period at 130 days of any major Canadian bank (as of September 5, 2023).
  • Pre-QualificationTo get started with their homebuying journey, prospective homebuyers can get a mortgage estimate in one minute with a 130-day rate hold. Using a soft credit check that will not affect their credit scores, customers will be able to know how much they can potentially afford for a home, based on information such as income, assets and debt.

For more information about BMO's FHSAs, please visit:

About BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group is the eighth largest bank in North America by assets, with total assets of $1.3 trillion as of October 31, 2023. Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a diverse team of highly engaged employees providing a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management, global markets and investment banking products and services to 13 million customers across Canada, the United States, and in select markets globally. Driven by a single purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, BMO is committed to driving positive change in the world, and making progress for a thriving economy, sustainable future, and inclusive society.

SOURCE BMO Financial Group

For further information: Media Contact: Aaron Sobeski, Toronto,, (416) 867-3996