Last month I wrote about how congress and the White House were considering extending the $8,000 and $6,500 homebuyer tax credits. At the time it wasn't a done deal that an extension would be granted because the provision was being included as a rider on a controversial jobs bill that wasn't sure to pass both halls of congress. Sure enough, the bill didn't pass, and legislators were sent scrambling trying to find a way to pass an extension for the thousands of people thought to be in limbo with their closings on their new homes. If something wasn't done they would lose out on the tax credit.
H.R.5623 Passes And Extends Closing Deadline
Last week congress got the deal done and passed H.R.5623 – Homebuyer Assistance and Improvement Act of 2010. The bill doesn't allow new homebuyers to get in on the tax credit, but gives people who were under contract by 4/30/2010 a few extra months to get their deals finalized, and still receive the credit.
Qualified homebuyers who signed purchase contracts before April 30 will have until Sept. 30 to complete paperwork and settle on the house. The original settlement deadline was June 30.
“They’re cheering out there, they’re really rejoicing,” Lucien Salvant, a spokesman for the National Association of Realtors, said of homebuyers. The group sought the extension.
The House voted 409-5 on June 29 to extend the deadline, and the Senate approved the measure on a voice vote last night. Republicans, including Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina, had tried to block the extension, calling the tax-credit program flawed.
“We only created a bubble, which will eventually burst,” DeMint said on the Senate floor late yesterday as the deadline was about to expire. “For the people who haven’t closed on their homes by today, it’s not that they won’t get their house, only that they won’t get a taxpayer subsidy for having bought a house now rather than later.”
The bill was signed into law on July 2nd by President Obama.
Extension Of Homebuyer Tax Credit Will Make Some Happy – Others Skeptical
I know the passage of this bill will be a relief to many folks who ended up buying a house this spring simply because of the credit, and were horrified to find out they might not close on their house in time.
Whether or not this is a good idea is another story. Many have said that the tax credit only artificially pumped up the real estate market, and is causing another mini real estate bubble. They say the worst is yet to come. May and June have both shown a significant drop in new contracts on homes, and some experts expect that to continue.
What do you think about the tax credit extension? Is it ok since it isn't extending the credit to new buyers – and only extending the deadline for those under contract by 4/30? Have the tax credits and other stimulus created another mini-bubble only delaying a bottom to the market? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.