Are Feb’s Numbers Enough to Extend the Homebuyer Tax Credit?by Tim Manni
The hot topic around the web yesterday was that February’s increase in homebuyer activity was the result of the pending expiration of the homebuyer tax credit.
According to the National Association of Realtors, “The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in February, rose 8.2 percent to 97.6 from a downwardly revised 90.2 in January, and remains 17.3 percent above February 2009 when it was 83.2. The data reflects contracts and not closings, which usually occur with a lag time of one or two months.”
The big question: Is February’s boost in homebuyer activity enough to spur lawmakers to extend the homebuyer tax credit again? The numbers for February’s pending home sales were only first available yesterday, April 5. That means March’s (pending home sale) numbers won’t be available until the beginning of May. By that time, all who wanted to take advantage of the homebuyer tax credit would have had to have their contracts signed — all contracts must be signed by April 30 (24 days away). We will, however, see some of February’s numbers expressed in March’s existing-home sales report due out on April 22.
The question remains: Is the accumulated evidence enough to convince lawmakers of the credit’s value?
Should the homebuyer tax credit be extended (again)?: Based on the results from our poll that we began on March 30, 2010, readers overwhelmingly voted that the homebuyer tax credit deserves another extension. So far, 75% voted for the extension, 16% said it was “time for it to go,” and 9% said they “couldn’t care less.”
Cast your vote: