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PEARLAND, TX, October 29, 2009 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Ask a builder if the $8,000 tax credit should be extended into 2010 and you will get an emphatic "Yes." Introduced in February 2009, the $8,000 tax credit for first-time buyers has done more for housing than lower prices and interest rates, says Amy Haywood vice president of sales and marketing for Taylor Morrison's Houston division.
"The tax credit is responsible for a large percentage of our sales this year. We'd like to see the credit expanded to include all home buyers and a small increase in the size of the credit in 2010. If the income eligibility caps were raised that would stimulate the market because more buyers could qualify," said Haywood.
The $8,000 tax credit is due to expire December 1, 2009, which means buyers have to complete a contract, secure financing and close by November 30. Since it generally takes between 45 and 60 days to go from contract to closing, the tax credit is virtually on its last leg. The National Association of Realtors estimates that up to 350,000 homes have been sold in 2009 because of the credit.
"Taylor Morrison builds homes from the $100,000s to over $1 million, so we see a variety of buyers in our sales centers in Houston. Expanding the tax credit to everyone will accelerate and broaden the economic recovery by putting more buyers in the market. Among many things, it will mean more jobs and more people shopping for home-related items and other things," Haywood said.
Carlotta Kaldor, a Keller Williams Realtor in Pearland, TX and luxury home specialist, agrees with Haywood saying Realtors could sell more homes with an expanded tax credit and higher income limitations. "A tax credit for homeowners would stimulate resales and new-home sales. Why not expand the program to everyone, open up the opportunity?"
With the onset of the Government Stimulus Program, Taylor Morrison rolled out a national consumer promotion called "Stimu-Plus" in late February. Taylor Morrison offered an $8,000 incentive to attract move-up buyers who did not quality for the tax credit. First-time buyers qualifying for the tax credit received an additional $8,000 for a total of a $16,000. Taylor Morrison offered other incentives, including 2 percent towards closing costs and a Value Inspired Package (VIP) that featured the most popular upgrades.
The Stimu-Plus program was overwhelmingly successful for Taylor Morrison Houston; in the first month sales increased 50% over the previous two months. Taylor Morrison Houston has earned an additional 4% market share to date, whereas the Houston market has a 3% decline overall in 2009.
Haywood encourages home shoppers to send a message to congress about extending the tax credit via "Join Fix Housing First". Some 50,000 people have taken action through the Fix Housing First website. http://capwiz.com/fixhousingfirst/mlm/signup/?client_field3=supporters
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