May 26, 2009 // Franchising.com // Morris Plains, N.J., - The $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers appears to be having the impact on real estate that Congress anticipated. Since the credit was enacted in February, home purchases by first-time homebuyers have increased significantly, providing a boost to the entry-level segment of the housing market.
According to the most recent report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), first-time buyers accounted for 53 percent of all home sales in March. Traditionally, those buying a home for the first time make up 40 percent or less. NAR estimates that the tax credit will generate several hundred thousand additional purchases in 2009.
"The tax credit has brought out individuals who were either thinking about buying in the recent past, or planning to do so in the near future," said James M. Weichert, president and founder of Weichert, Realtors. "Most of the first-time buyers who are deciding to make a purchase now are doing so for two reasons – to capitalize on today's affordable home prices and interest rates and to advantage of the $8,000 tax credit before it is too late."
The first-time homebuyer tax credit, which is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act intended to stimulate the economy, is only available for a limited time. Buyers interested in utilizing this tax credit need to have completed the purchase of a principal residence before Dec.1, 2009 in order to be eligible for this financial incentive.
Photo Caption: Affordably-priced homes like this one in Morristown, N.J., are attracting first-time buyers looking to cash-in on the $8,000 tax credit.
Weichert has nearly 18,000 sales associates in approximately 500 company-owned and franchised sales offices in key markets throughout the U.S. A family of full-service real estate and financial services companies, Weichert helps customers buy and sell both residential and commercial real estate, and streamlines the delivery of mortgages and home and title insurance. Each Weichert franchised office is independently owned and operated.