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Home Buyer Tax Credit Expansion Heads to Obama

Thursday, 5 Nov 2009 | 3:33 PM ET
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Photo by:Seven_Null7
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It's official.

In landslide votes, the extension/expansionof the first time home buyer tax credit passed both houses of Congress and is now on its way to the President's desk for signing tomorrow.

The credit now goes through May 1st, which means you can sign a contract through May 1st as long as you close on the property by June 30th.

It gives up to $8000 for first time buyers (defined as not having owned a home for the past three years) and up to a $6500 credit to move-up buyers who have owned and occupied their current homes for at least five years.

Again, you have to be an owner occupant of this primary residence, no investors here, and there is an income cap for single filers at $125,000 and joint filers at $225,000. Oh, and the home you buy can't be more than $800,000.

Reaction from Bankers and Builders and Realtors, Oh my:

'"MBA Applauds Passage of Homebuyer Tax Credit

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 5, 2009) - Robert E. Story, Jr., CMB, Chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), today issued the following statement in response to the passage in the U.S. Congress of legislation to extend and expand the homebuyer tax credit.

At a time when we are finally starting to see some signs of life in the housing and mortgage markets, extending and expanding the homebuyer tax credit is a critical step to keeping the momentum. This has been one of MBA's top single family legislative priorities, and we are very glad to see that policymakers on both sides of the aisle see the importance of this measure.

"The existing credit for first-time homebuyers has helped move a segment of potential homebuyers off the sidelines and into their first homes. By expanding it to qualified existing homeowners, we can help stimulate even more home purchases for qualified buyers. I also want to applaud measures in the bill that will help eliminate fraudulent use of the tax credit."

BUILDERS APPLAUD CONGRESS ON EXTENDING HOME BUYER TAX CREDIT

WASHINGTON, Nov. 5 - The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) today applauded Congress for passing legislation that will extend and expand the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit, stating that this will provide a much-needed boost to the fragile housing market and economy.

"We commend lawmakers for acting in a bipartisan manner to extend the first-time home buyer tax credit beyond its Nov. 30 deadline and expand it to a wider group of home buyers," said NAHB Chairman Joe Robson, a home builder from Tulsa, Okla. "The tax credit has proven to be a powerful economic incentive. Today's action by Congress will further stabilize housing and the economy by creating new jobs, stimulating home sales, reducing foreclosures, cutting excess inventories and stabilizing home prices."

NAHB estimates that the extended and expanded home buyer tax credit will create 211,000 jobs and generate 180,000 additional home sales in the coming year. It is also expected to generate $9.6 billion in wage income and $6.9 billion in federal, state and local taxes.

The legislation, which also extends unemployment insurance benefits and offers relief to cash-strapped firms by providing broader tax benefits for businesses with net operating losses (NOLs), is expected to be signed into law shortly by President Obama.

"The new NOL rules will throw a lifeline to struggling businesses, allowing them to continue making payrolls, paying business loans and otherwise keep their doors open until the economic recovery takes hold," said Robson.

Tax Credit Extension a Positive Step Toward Sustained Real Estate Recovery, Say Realtors

WASHINGTON (November 5, 2009) – The National Association of Realtors® today commended the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives for passing a bill that includes an extension and expansion of the current home buyer tax credit as an important step in ensuring a real estate and economic recovery.

“Realtors appreciate the swift action by Congress to extend the home buyer tax credit and expand it to some current homeowners,” said NAR President Charles McMillan, a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Dallas-Fort Worth. “As the leading advocate of housing and real estate issues, we urge President Obama to sign this legislation into law quickly to keep the momentum going in the fragile recovery of the nation’s housing market.”

McMillan praised the efforts of several senators to put the recovery above politics. They are Sen. Johnny Isakson, (R-Ga.); Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.); Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.); Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), chairman of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee; and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

NAR economists estimate that the current tax credit has contributed approximately $22 billion to the general economy, and approximately 2 million people will take advantage of the tax credit this year.

“The substantial rise in home sales we’ve seen over the past few months proves that the tax credit is working and is being used by buyers who were waiting for the right opportunity to get into the market,” McMillan said. “This important incentive is helping to stabilize the housing market, stimulate the economy and create new jobs in communities all across our great nation. Extending and expanding the home buyer tax credit will enable even more families to take advantage of current low interest rates and affordable prices to invest in their future through homeownership."'

Questions? Comments? RealtyCheck@cnbc.com

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  • Diana Olick serves as CNBC's real estate correspondent as well as the editor of the Realty Check section on CNBC.com.

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