Thursday, November 05, 2009

Homebuyer Tax Credit Extended and Expanded

After weeks of uncertainty, the Senate and House of Representatives have both passed legislation to extend and expand the homebuyers credit. In addition to extending the deadline through April 30, 2010, it will also include a $6,500 credit to homebuyers who have lived in their current residence more than 5 years. According to the Associated Press, the White House even announced that Obama would promptly sign the bill into law. publish an article with more details of the new credit. They also raise several valid questions as to whether this extension and expansion will actually help or hurt the ailing economy. You can read a segment of their post below, or find the full text here.

The National Association of Realtors had been pushing hard to extend the credit, as well as include non-first-time home buyers, saying the legislation has helped stabilize the housing market and increased home sales, projected at 5.1 million for the year.

Supporters of the tax credit say that it has helped to boost existing home sales in recent months and that the housing market, and broader economy, would suffer if it is allowed to expire. They contend that extending the credit would help further support sales, stabilize housing prices and generate jobs in the face of an expected increase in foreclosures next year, which is expected to put ongoing downward pressure on prices.

"Tax credits like this only work by creating the sense of urgency to take advantage of them," Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), the measure's main sponsor, said in a statement. "This is the last extension of the home buyer tax credit, and I urge all Americans whether they're first-time buyers who've always dreamed of having a home of their own or someone who's been gridlocked in the failure of our move-up market to take advantage of this opportunity."

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