Home buyer tax credit deadline approaches
There were loud calls from the real estate industry to extend the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit when the original Nov. 30 deadline neared. Now we're in shouting distance of the extended deadline -- April 30 to sign a contract -- and it's been pretty quiet. The National Association of Realtors, for instance, tells me it hasn't been lobbying for a re-extension.
But mortgage publisher HSH Associates notes that most of the people taking a poll on its blog "overwhelmingly support" more time. As of 10 p.m. Monday, 84 percent said they were "depending on" an extension.
"You don't make drug addicts go cold turkey," Mr. Shiller said. "The credit interferes with the market in an arbitrary way, but ending it now would be psychologically powerful. People will be in a bad mood about buying a house." He advocates phasing it out gradually.
Not all home buyers will be sorry to see the credit go -- whenever that may be. Wonk reader Jelena, for instance, offered up an example of market interference:
"In the past few weeks I've been observing a peculiar trend in AA and HO counties in the below 400K segment," Jelena wrote in a comment. "Many new listings are coming up that already were for sale a year ago but did not sell. And the prices are around Zestimate or even higher. It seems the sellers expect the buyers will scoop up anything because of the looming tax credit expiration date. Sadly, they're frequently right - quite a few homes are being sold above their true value."
What do you think: Should the credit be extended or no?