POSTED BY THE WALL STREET JOURNAL TODAY 10/29/2009
Wall Street Journal 10/29/09
WASHINGTON -- Senate negotiators reached a tentative deal to extend a tax credit for first-time home buyers, but its passage remains uncertain.
The agreement would extend the existing credit for first-time home buyers, worth up to $8,000, while offering a new credit of up to $6,500 for some existing homeowners, Senate aides said. The reduced credit would be available to all home buyers who have been in their current residence for a consecutive five-year period in the past eight years.
The new provisions are aimed at broadening availability of the credit beyond first-time buyers and giving the weakened real-estate market a bigger boost while preventing real-estate investors from benefiting.
Many property experts have cited the credit as a reason for signs of recovery in the housing market in recent months. But that recovery was somewhat undercut by the September drop in new-home sales reported Wednesday.
The credit would be extended from its current expiration date of Dec. 1 to all contracts entered into by April 30, and closed before July 1. It is expected that income limits on people claiming the credit would be increased to $125,000 for singles and $250,000 for couples, from the current $75,000 and $150,000, aides said. The credit phases out for people making more than those amounts.
I will continue to post updates on this piece of legislation until resolution is achieved or died.