A Realtor advocating the end of the Home Buyer Tax Credit? In some ways, yes. Don’t get me wrong, the Credit has helped our industry without a doubt but we all know it is not something that is going to go on forever and it can’t be extended every time it gets set to expire. Though less than 100 people have voted on the Wall Street Journal poll, 72% think the Credit should be allowed to expire. Never fear though, if you don’t like that WSJ poll, try this one. This one is in favor of extending 98-43 (70%-30%) asking the exact same question!
Knowing that the end is inevitable and that the spring and early summer at typically strong times for real estate markets, letting a bonus go away now makes more sense than it does during typically slower months. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported today that March home sales were up 6.8% (note they cite the Credit as the cause) but NAR’s chief economist, Lawarence Yun seems to agree with my assessment that the end of the Home Buyer Tax Credit is not going to capsize the recovering real estate market.
“With home values stabilizing, a revival in home buying confidence will likely help the housing market get back on its feet even as the tax credit impact disappears,” Yun said.
It seems more likely that on May 1st we’ll be saying, “been great knowing you Home Buyer Tax Credit but now it is time to move on.” Remember, if you want to take advantage of the Credit, you must have an accepted offer by April 3oth. Neither NAR nor the National Association of Home Builders are lobbying Congress for an extension.
Portland Metro area real estate inventory for March was 7.8 months according to RMLS compared to the national 8.0 months. It seems like the national and local market is falling much more in line than they have in past years.