There are two sides to the housing equation

As Realty Times notes, the $8,000 tax credit for home buyers is available only available to individuals who make no more than $75,000 or couples earning no more than $150,000. It can be used only by first-time homebuyers (defined as one who has not owned a home for at least three years.)

Why not make the credit available to anyone who purchases a home? asks U.S. Rep. Ken Calvert, a Republican (of all things) from California. In fact, why restrict the number of credits available to any one purchaser? If someone buys two homes, let them have double the tax credit.

What better way to shrink the nation’s burgeoning inventory of unsold properties?

Skeptics will say that such a plan would benefit investors seeking to rent out their apartments and houses and sucking up federal dollars. It’s hard to see why that would be a bad thing. Moreover, tenants would have somewhere to live and likely at lower rents that currently prevail.

By easing its credit restrictions, the government could stimulate demand and thereby help gobble up supply. The demand-supply equation would begin to come into balance. The cost would be far less than waiting for the housing market to recover or bailing out a single bank.  And if no one takes up the government’s offer for a credit, the cost would be zero.  It’s an experiment that would be not only noble but could not help but be effective.

You’ll find more of my commentary on the housing market in current and archived issues of my newsletter.

Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022
M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201


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