Scotiabank and TD Bank have launched the First Home Savings Account (FHSA), becoming the latest Canadian banks to offer the new banking option geared to help Canadians enter the red-hot housing market.

The federal government created the FHSA to address housing affordability challenges, combining elements of the Registered Retirement Savings Plan as well as the Tax-Free Savings Account. 

Banks could start offering FHSAs as of April 1, but most did not make it available right away.

Scotiabank announced Wednesday that the account is now available.

"We know home affordability is a big issue on the minds of Canadians,” Kingsley Chak, the senior vice president of retail deposits, savings, and investments at Scotiabank, said in a news release. “The FHSA unlocks tremendous value and flexibility for those looking to save for a down payment toward their first home.”

A TD Bank spokesperson told that it started offering the account as of Wednesday.

Through the FHSA, prospective homebuyers can contribute up to $8,000 each year up to a lifetime limit of $40,000, Scotiabank’s news release said. 

Canadian banks that have made the new account available to customers have seen high levels of demand. 

RBC released data this month on demand for the FHSA, saying tens of thousands of accounts have been opened since April, mostly by people under the age of 45.

National Bank told earlier this month that demand had surpassed expectations and most account holders are in their 30s. 

Equitable Bank started offering the account last month, while BMO and CIBC have promised the accounts will be on offer later this year. 

Wealthsimple Inc. also made the FHSA available a few weeks ago, according to a Thursday statement from the company. The financial services firm said that over 30 per cent of people who have opened an FHSA account have already maxed it out.

Wealthsimple told that it had a waitlist of around 20,000 people before it started offering the FHSA.

A previous version of this story said Scotiabank was the third Canadian bank to offer the FHSA. BNN Bloomberg has updated the story to reflect that EQ Bank started offering the account on July 19 and TD Bank on Aug. 16.