October 20th, 2009
03:35 PM ET
12 years ago

No decision yet on homebuyer credit – Obama official

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - While momentum is building on Capitol Hill to extend the $8,000 first-time homebuyer credit, President Obama's housing secretary said Tuesday the administration has not decided whether to support its expansion.

Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan told the Senate Banking Committee that the administration wanted more time to better assess the cost of the credit, which expires on Nov. 30.

"Within a few weeks we'll have sufficient data to get to a conclusion on this," Donovan said. "It's a question of understanding more fully the costs to the taxpayer."

He said there is "clear evidence" the credit has had some positive benefits and that its expiration could have "some negative implications" for the housing market.

At the same time, Donovan said that the end of the credit would not be "catastrophic" because of other actions the government is taking to support the flagging housing market. Interest rates are being kept low and the Federal Housing Administration is playing a more prominent role in lending to homebuyers.

But lawmakers pushing to extend the credit are concerned the housing market is going "to die a sudden death" after Nov. 30, as Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., said Tuesday.

Isakson and other supporters believe that keeping the credit in place
could further boost home sales, stabilize housing prices and generate jobs.

Isakson and Senate Banking Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., have co-sponsored an amendment that would extend the credit until the end of June 2010 and be available to single filers making up to $150,000 and joint filers making up to $300,000. Currently the credit is limited to homebuyers who haven't owned a home for the past three years, who make half those amounts and who close on their purchases by Nov. 30.

Whether or not the credit is extended, forecasters are expecting further price declines in many markets due to rising foreclosure and unemployment rates in 2010. Supporters of extending the credit believe it could help mute those price declines.

Opponents say extending and expanding the credit would be a waste of money and only temporarily stave off further price declines.

When asked whether he thought the credit was spurring confidence or artificially inflating prices, Donovan told lawmakers he believes: "Given the decline we've been through, the likelihood that the credit is inflating the market beyond where it would be is very low."

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Obie is a Socialist

    Great, where can i buy my money tree..........

    October 20, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  2. Victim of Democratic greed

    Enough wasting our tax payer dollars on these worthless programs. Congress was too stupid to mandate Cash for Clunkers should only be on American cars. Sure give people free money and they will take it, but the rest of us are sick and tired of our taxes going up to cover this crap.

    October 20, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  3. Carlos

    The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is probing more than 100,000 doubtful claims of a tax credit meant for first-time home buyers, the Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site on Tuesday. They can't even keep up with the fraud they already have on this, so they think we ought to extend it, idiots.

    October 20, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. Mike from Florida

    I guess this will take another 4-6 weeks like deciding on a strategy for Afganistan.

    October 20, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. Obama=trickle up poverty

    Why stop there? Let's just have government buy up the homes and give them to all the poor people who need them. After all, isn't that what Dodd and Frank were doing, forcing Fannie and Freddie to give homes to people who couldn't pay for them and Obama thinks we need to help them. This administration loves to reward the screw ups and have the responsible people pay for all of it.

    October 20, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  6. Pee Wee

    "It's a question of understanding more fully the costs to the taxpayer."

    Yeah, like that's mattered in the past! I guess if they conclude that it's going to break our backs, then they'll press onward.

    The Repub is supporting it. What a boob. None of these guys are fiscally conservative.

    All of these guys are a joke!

    October 20, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. victim of republican greed

    While the republicans, like Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan, want to give pet owners a $3500 tax credit, they oppose health reform, or any program that will help Americans.

    October 20, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  8. Meidy

    Another giveaway. Did we already forget about the last housing mess? If you can't afford a house, don't buy one. Why should anyone subsidize someone's home purchase? The expenses go well beyond a mortgage payment. Go rent a house. Your American Dream doesn't go on my back......

    October 20, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  9. well, no matter what you do, the market is bottoming

    11% drop coming soon... value aready lost 30%+ for my area

    never trust real estate people, lying bunch, my they burn in ..., well how about they are just miserable until the day they pass on

    October 20, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  10. Is it 2012yet?

    He will just continue shooting hoops and doing dinners while people die in Afghanistan, jobs contine to decline and the financial matters for REAL people worsen.

    Gitmo still open, no healthcare etc, etc..........

    "I uh, uh, uh, uh would like to vote present" and then Axelfraud and the "Fish" remind him that he can't cowardly do that anymore, old habits being what they are though, he continues to "vote" that way.

    October 20, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  11. jrzshor

    hey, what about us. you know the ones paying on time, paying higher property taxes on time, but still could use some obama help?

    i want to refinance but it's going to cost me some serious money which i don't have cause my house lost $50,000 in value and i'll have to cover that loss of value.

    i just don't get how the poor and the rich get govt assistance and the middle class who vote for these morons ie; politicans, get the to pay for them being nice to the minority at both ends.

    October 20, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  12. Ronald Schwartz

    I think he is the biggest threat to Americas freedom to come along in 50 years,He needs to go,and so does his administration.

    October 20, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  13. William in San Jose

    Here's hoping they do because I don't think I'll close before the end of November. For the first time in my 45 years of being alive I can actually afford to buy a house in California; in the middle of all this turmoil!

    October 20, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  14. jobless recovery

    keep spending!! we are only 1.42 trillion in debt FOR THE YEAR. Does Obama come out with a spending plan every other day....yet unemployment keeps going up???? someone stop this mad man.

    October 20, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  15. Michael Hsu

    $9,000.00 credit is chump change. It should be a '100% of house value' credit. For example, if you buy a $100,000.00 house, you get to deduct $100,000.00 from your 1040 annually for every year in which that house is your primary residence.

    October 20, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  16. dave

    Gimme more free money!!!

    October 20, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  17. Dar

    The dems just cant give our money away fast enough can they. Come on 2010

    October 20, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  18. Fed Up

    The banks and government didn't learn their lesson when the first wave of unqualified loans went bust. Now we have to have a bailout so we can get some more loans that people can't pay for. The government amazes me every day with its lack of intelligence (can't learn anything unless you look at history). I guess a year ago isn't recent enough for anyone in government to retain the information.

    October 20, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  19. RNC = DNC = politics as usual

    Translation of Obama-speak:
    "Within a few weeks we'll have sufficient data to get to a conclusion on this"

    "Within a few weeks no one will remember our promises so we are planning to drop the ball here too and you idiots won't notice. Then after sufficient poll data, we try to spin whatever happens randonly as Another Great Success even if nothing has changed."

    October 20, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  20. Mike Syracuse, NY

    Of course there was a decision at the White House; it was 'present'.

    October 20, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  21. shmeckel

    Why first time buyers? Why not all buyers? That is junk. Why does my tax money go to everybody else? Aside from tax credits that go to the entire country I can not think of one time where this wealth redistribution has benefited me. I am not rich; I struggle to pay my bills. Government officials suck; use my money to buy their votes. JUNK JUNK JUNK.

    October 20, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  22. phoenix86

    Another day of Obama indecision. What's the news here?

    October 20, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  23. cherrystrawberry

    Weel I purchased my first home on October 9. and I am estatic!

    With my rebate I will update my bathroom. Every thing else is pretty new. Thank You President Obama

    October 20, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  24. danthesensibleman

    8 grand seems like a drop in the bucket for a house, besides if banks aren't lending money then what is the point

    October 20, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  25. Slider

    If there was any doubt about the federal government's complicity in the collapse of the home market, and subsequent failings in the financial arena concerning synthetic derivatives, let this latest stupidity serve as another reminder.

    I guess Summers, Geithner and Rubin wanna recover their losses from the last risk arbitrage scheme they foisted upon us all.

    Americans will never learn.

    October 20, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
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