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2009-11-09 18:10:57
Home Sales Contracts Rise

Home sales contracts rise for 8th straight month

Real estate rally attributed to first-time homebuyer tax credit that expires at the end of November.

CNN-The leap was far better than expected. A panel of analysts surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast a 1.2% rise.

Analysts, including Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, have traced much of the improvement to the government's first-time homebuyer tax credit program, which gives an up to $8,000 tax break to new homebuyers. It's estimated that between 200,000 and 400,000 additional sales will have been made because of the credit.

'What we're witnessing is a rush of first-time buyers trying to beat the expiration of the tax credit at the end of this month,' said Yun.

The credit lapses after Nov. 30, and the housing industry is bracing for a major turndown in sales if Congress fails to pass some kind of extension.

'Clearly, buyers were eager to get business done before the credit's November expiration,' said Mike Larson, a real estate analyst for Weiss Research. 'So I wouldn't be surprised to see some give back in pending sales over the next month or two.

 
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