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Now that the homebuyer credit is over…..

For the time period of January 1, 2009 through April 30, 2010 the government has been offering an $8,000 refundable tax credit to those who purchase a home for the first time (or at least recently) and then December 1, 2009 that credit was expanded to include a $6,500 credit to repeat homebuyers. So, for the last almost year and a half the government has literally been paying people to purchase houses in an effort to stimulate the housing market.

Did they succeed? How do you measure a successful program?

Did home sales increase? Absolutely. The question is: how much of the increase in sales was merely taking people who would have purchased in six months or a year and instead purchased today to take advantage of the credit? If they merely succeeded in pushing forward the time frame, is that successful? I cannot comment on the numbers overall, but I can say that among my clients there wasn’t a single one who weren’t planning on buying anyways, and thought of the credit as a nice bonus, but not a motivator.

I’ll be very interested to see what happens to tomorrow’s market when we have pulled tomorrow’s buyers to today. Only time will tell, but I think you might have caught on to what my guess is on the impact on tomorrow’s prices.