Congress is considering expanding and extending the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit, which expires Nov. 30. More than 1.8 million home buyers will have used the credit by the end of November, including an estimated 355,000 who wouldn’t have bought a home without it, according to the National Association of REALTORS® and other analysts.Mark Zandi, chief economist for MoodysEconomy.com, is among those in favor of extending the credit. Zandi would also make it available to all homebuyers. "The most fundamental argument for the credit is that nothing works in the economy if housing is falling," Zandi said. "[The credit] is a good insurance policy. It's vital to stem the housing price declines."Opponents argue that the tax credit is too expensive and doesn’t help enough people. Extending the credit through the end of 2010 and making it available to single filers earning up to $150,000 and joint filers earning up to $300,000 would cost an estimated $16.7 million. Some in Congress propose using unspent money from the $787 billion stimulus bill to pay for it.
Source: CNNMoney.com, Les Christie (10/14/2009)