Senate Debates Extending First Time Buyer Credit

Bloomberg.com reports that the Obama administration endorsed plans to extend an $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers, saying it is helping stabilize the nation’s housing market. Senate Democrats have announced plans to extend the credit until April 30, 2010, while expanding it to include higher-income Americans and some who already own homes.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus said today the new plan would offer a $6,500 credit for homebuyers who have lived in their prior residence for at least five years. Couples earning up to $225,000 and individuals up to $125,000 would qualify for the break, Baucus said. That’s up from the current $75,000 limit for individuals and $150,000 for couples.

“The success of the American economy is closely tied to the success of the housing market; by helping to stabilize the housing market, the homebuyer tax credit has helped to shore up the economy as it begins to recover,” said Baucus, a Montana Democrat. “This would enable an even greater number of potential homebuyers to take the credit.”

Lawmakers said they want to prevent home sales from slipping as the economy struggles to recover from the worst drop in home prices since the Great Depression. More than 1.2 million borrowers have claimed $8.5 billion of the $13.6 billion set aside for the homebuyer tax credits this year, according to the Treasury Department.

The Democrats’ proposal would extend the credit to home purchases under contract by April 30, 2010 so long as they close the sale within 60 days. Those buying homes worth more than $800,000 wouldn’t be eligible for the credit, said Baucus. Lawmakers also said they won’t extend the break beyond the new April 30, 2010 deadline.

The current tax credit is set to expire on November 30, 2009. The Senate could vote on this new bill as early as tomorrow.

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  • http://www.bestmutualfundsnow.com/ Vanguard Funds

    Hopefully this credit for first time home buyers will go through. In addition this will help to boost the real estate market and also to bring much need confidence back to the real estate market.

  • John_23

    Will be interesting to see what happens when the tax credits actually stop. Will it be cash for clunkers Part Deux? ie uptick in sales followed by slump, especially in those places marketd to such buyers?

  • John_23

    Will be interesting to see what happens when the tax credits actually stop. Will it be cash for clunkers Part Deux? ie uptick in sales followed by slump, especially in those places marketd to such buyers?

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