U.S. homebuilders will be asking Congress to pass a $15,000 tax credit for all home buyers, double the current assistance offered now to just first-time buyers.
The industry has taken $19 billion in losses since 2006. Builders believe the credit will help reignite interest in homes after multiple quarters of declining home values.
“The tax credit passed in July seems to have failed to have sparked interest. We are hearing from high volume and small volume builders that it has had no impact,” Jerry Howard, the chief executive officer of the National Association of Home Builders, said in a published interview.
“Once Congress passes this bailout plan, we will talk to them about a second stimulus package and an enhanced tax credit.''
Home sales fell again in August, down 11.5 percent annually, reports the Commerce Department, and off 34.5 percent from the previous August, the lowest it has been since January 1991.
"This report is yet another example of how the housing sector is suffering the effects of the financial meltdown and extreme tightening of consumer and business credit," Sandy Dunn, president of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said while attending the association's board of directors meeting in San Diego.
"Now is the time for Congress to come together in a bipartisan fashion to pass a financial rescue plan that stabilizes financial markets and gets at the root problems of declining home values and rising foreclosures,” she said.
The major downshift in new-home sales in August reflects a weakening economy and job market as well as tight mortgage credit market conditions, according to NAHB Chief Economist Dave Seiders.
"And this occurred well before the most recent round of financial market turmoil, accentuating the urgent need for immediate action on the administration's financial rescue plan,” Seiders says.
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