The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to extend the deadline for the first-time homebuyer tax credit until Thursday, Sept. 30 for buyers who already met the April 30 deadline to have a signed contract. The measure now moves on to the U.S. Senate for their vote. The deadline currently in place mandates that prospective homebuyers close by June 20 in order to receive a tax credit of $8,000 for first-time homebuyers.
Should the measure not pass the Senate and not be signed into law by President Barack Obama, nearly 180,000 homebuyers will lose their tax credit. Included in that number are thousands of homebuyers in each state, from 390 in Wyoming, to 17,700 in California, according to estimates by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
“We are strongly urging the Senate and the House to act quickly to pass this legislation and ease the minds and pocketbooks of these homebuyers,” said NAR President Vicki Cox Golder, owner of Vicki L. Cox & Associates in Tucson, Ariz. “These are not buyers who just entered into the market. These are buyers who previously met all the qualifications for the tax credit, but find themselves at the mercy of a workflow jam with lenders or other delays such as lapses in the National Flood Insurance Program, Rural Housing Service, and new home construction, and might not be able to complete the purchase of their homes by the current deadline. It would be a tragedy for them not to be able to complete the purchase in time to claim the credit.”
NAR issued the following state-by-state estimate of the number of home sales that would be delayed beyond the June 30 deadline (numbers are rounded to the nearest 10):
Alabama, 2,590; Alaska, 830; Arizona, 5,440; Arkansas, 2,090; California, 17,700; Colorado, 3,390; Connecticut, 1,770; Delaware, 400; District of Columbia, 300; Florida, 14,830; Georgia, 6,270; Hawaii, 710; Idaho, 1,270; Illinois, 7,030; Indiana, 3,560; Iowa, 2, 030; Kansas, 1,840; Kentucky, 2,540; Louisiana,1,800; Maine, 840; Maryland, 2,630; Massachusetts, 3,930; Michigan, 6,470; Minnesota, 3,760; Mississippi, 1,530; Missouri, 3,600; Montana, 760; Nebraska, 1,110; Nevada, 3,800; New Hampshire, 690; New Jersey, 4,300; New Mexico, 1,160; New York, 9,190; North Carolina, 4,890; North Dakota, 460; Ohio, 8,510; Oklahoma, 2,760; Oregon, 2,090; Pennsylvania, 5,830; Rhode Island, 500; South Carolina, 2,460; South Dakota, 500; Tennessee, 3,910; Texas, 15,340; Utah, 1,130; Vermont, 400; Virginia, 3,890; Washington, 3,190; West Virginia, 940; Wisconsin, 2,690; and Wyoming, 390.
“As a part of our efforts to strengthen America’s housing market, Democrats created the successful first-time homebuyer tax credit," said Rep. Nancy Pelosi. "With the help of this credit, more than four million families have been able to achieve the dream of homeownership, and in doing so, given a boost to our economy. The legislation passed by the House today will extend the deadline for Americans already in the process of buying a home, but facing delays that would mean they no longer qualify for the credit. Up to 180,000 homebuyers will now receive the tax credit they deserve, and our housing market will be strengthened as a result.