Friday, February 6, 2009

Federal Stimulus Update

On Wednesday the U.S. Senate unanimously adopted an amendment to the tax portion of the stimulus package that would allow a tax credit of 10 percent of the value of new or existing residences, up to a $15,000 limit, for all purchasers, not just first-time homebuyers, in 2009 for a primary residence. Taxpayers would claim the credit on their 2008 income tax return. It also seeks to prevent misuse by only allowing purchases of a principal residence and by recapturing the credit if the home is sold within two years of purchase. The amendment would sunset the current $7,500 housing tax credit on the date of enactment.

The House-passed version of the bill continues the current $7,500 credit for first-time homebuyers and eliminates the repayment feature of the credit, but only for purchases that occur between January 1, 2009 and June 30, 2009.

The Senate legislation so far does not include the loan limit increase for FHA and GSEs, but NAR is urging its inclusion. The House-passed bill reinstates and makes permanent last year's temporary FHA and conforming loan limits of $729,750, as sought by NAR. Limits currently are $625,500.

Stay tuned for more updates!

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