Senate OKs $15,000 tax break for homebuyers.
Last evening the United States Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan amendment, offered by REALTOR® Champions, Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) to the Economic Stimulus Bill creating a $15,000 tax credit to individuals who purchase a home in the next year.
- A direct tax credit to any home buyer who purchases any home.
- The tax credit would be $15,000 or 10 percent of the purchase price, whichever is less.
- Purchases must be made within one year of the legislation’s enactment, and the tax credit would not have to be repaid.
The amendment would allow taxpayers to claim the credit on their 2008 income tax return. It also seeks to prevent misuse by only allowing purchases of a principle residence and by recapturing the credit if the home is sold within two years of purchase. The amendment would supplant the current $7,500 housing tax credit on the date of enactment.
While the final details of the Stimulus Bill are still being debated, this amendment represents a tremendous step forward in National Association of Realtors efforts to stabilize housing markets around the nation.
Buyers will still face tight lending standards, and mortgage rates have climbed since hitting a record low of 4.96 percent last month. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage rose to 5.25 percent this week from 5.1 percent last week, mortgage finance company Freddie Mac said Thursday.
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