David Shepherd: News Blog

Journalist's Notebook

Some Mixed News On The Housing Market

Editor’s Note:  This is a story I did for my NBC station and they own the legal rights to this story.

By:  David Shepherd [dshepherd@wtwo.com]

Americans in the process of buying a new home may still have time to take advantage of the New Home Buyer Tax Credit.  This on the heels of news that new home numbers dropped significantly in may.
Realtors say they’re thrilled Congress agreed to extend the closing deadline for eligibility for the New Home Buyer Tax Credit.

But they remain concerned as new numbers show a sharp decline in the number of nation-wide home sales in may.

Realtors like Cy Marlow are discouraged after new numbers show home sales in May dropped almost 30%; the lowest dating back to 2001.

“It’s not a very positive market and it’s showing the housing market is suffering,” says Marlow.

On the heels of that blow to the housing market comes some good news.  Thursday, Congress passed a bill to extend the closing date for those looking to take advantage of the New Home Buyer Tax Credit.

It was set to expire Wednesday, but the new deadline gives those waiting to close on a new home until September 30 and still be eligible for the money.

Marlow says, “I have people that are depending on that $8,000 credit so that’s going to save me at least 2 or 3 deals and I’m sure many more in the Wabash Valley.”

This only applies to buyers who’ve signed a contract on a new home on or before April 30th of this year so no new buyers will be able to take advantage of the extension.

If Congress didn’t make this move, Marlow says hundreds in the Valley wouldn’t be able to afford to close on their homes.

“That was going to be devastating for a lot of people that were counting on that money because they were first time home buyers, they don’t have a lot of money going in, and 8 thousand dollars is a lot of money to most people,” explains Marlow.

A typical closing process can take up to 90 days, giving people time to make those final deals.

“Maybe 1 or 2 percent won’t make it by September 30 but this gives everyone a reasonable time span to get it closed.”

Marlow says, with home prices down so low, now is a great time to buy in the Valley; whether this news boosts buyer’s confidence in the housing market remains to be seen.

July 4, 2010 Posted by | News & Current Events | Leave a comment