Update 14 August 2009: Cyberhomes notes that the credit may be extended:
So, I was happy to see a tweet yesterday about an effort from the National Association of Home Builders to extend the tax credit through Nov. 30, 2010. They’re also asking Congress to make the credit available to all buyers of principal residences, not just first-time home buyers.
This makes so much sense on so many levels. According to NAHB, extending the tax credit program would spur an additional 383,000 home sales, including 80,000 new homes, and create nearly 350,000 jobs over the next year. Every time a house is sold or built, it pumps thousands of dollars into the economy on purchases of everything from appraisals and title insurance to moving boxes and lawn mowers.
A tax credit has helped the housing market recover before, and it’s helping now.
It just needs some more time, given the enormity of the economic challenges we’re facing right now. There’s no down side to extending the tax credit another year and expanding it to all home buyers.
The thing that’s important to know is that this isn’t the first time Congress has been asked to make the home buyer tax credit more widely available. A bill introduced in January by Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) would have provided up to a $15,000 tax credit for all home buyers of primary residences. It also would have made the money available up front for down payment and closing costs. It got some support on the Senate side, but none whatsoever from the House.
The downside to the credit in the first place is that it is governmental intervention/meddling/interference in the free market. But … if they’re giving out free money, why not take it?
More to come next week on the various bills seeking to extend the homebuying tax credit.