In an interview with the Associated Press, Isakson said a second extension “isn’t going to happen.” The Georgia Republican and former real estate agent said the extension signed into law in November by President Barack Obama “will not work at its fullest unless it has a termination date.”
The U.S. Senate voted earlier this month to extend an $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers which had been set to expire. Isakson was the architect of that tax break. The new plan was expanded to include a $6,500 credit for existing homeowners who buy a new home after living in their current residence for at least five years. The credit will be available through June 2010 as long as the buyer has signed a binding contract by the April 30, 2010.
Isakson said making existing homebuyers eligible for the tax credit will provide a needed boost to the housing market.
“I have said from the beginning, unless you move it across the market you’re never going to catch the ‘move up’, where the most home equity is,” he said.
Isakson said existing homeowners persuaded to enter the housing market will help move homes that have been languishing with “for sale” signs on their front lawns. Once those homes move, the construction industry will perk up, he said.
There have been signs the tax credit is working. The National Association of REALTORS® reported that home sales surged for the second month in a row in October, climbing to the highest level in 2 1/2 years. Home sales nationwide are up almost 36 percent from January, although they are still 16 percent below the peak in autumn 2005.
by Anita C. Young, Milicki & Associates
Milicki & Associates Inc. 110 Evans Mill Dr. Suite 103, Dallas, GA 30157