Incentives attempt to lure buyers back to housing market


Christine Hass / 11 News

Posted on July 6, 2010 at 9:02 AM

HOUSTON -- Congress is taking drastic measures to help potential home buyers and lawmakers are counting on record-low interest rates and tax credits to breathe new life into the housing market.

In this deep economic slump, our financial future depends on people like David Bloomingdale, the government is tempting homebuyers with tax credits and record low mortgage rates and Bloomingdale is buying in.

"I just see the housing market as upside potential and not down," he said.

Bloomingdale is bucking the national real estate trends.  The number of buyers who signed contracts to purchase homes in May tumbled to a nine-year low.  Congress just responded by extending the deadline for the homebuyer tax credit until the end of September.

 Mortgage expert Steven Kauffman says it's a sign the housing recovery can't survive without government incentives.

"They're not getting what they should be getting," he said. “I think keeping rates low is not preventing people from making decisions that they'd otherwise be afraid to make because of the uncertainty."

 Real estate agent Mike Greiner is also hoping lawmakers' decisions will translate into improved sales and buyer confidence.

 "I think it's a good start,” he said. “I'm not sure what the exact answer will be but I think it's a good start and [gets] people in homes for a very low interest rate."

 Bloomingdale said he has faith in the timing of his purchase.  He said the deals couldn't be better.

 "They all say what do I need to do to get your business, they are very aggressive about getting it," he said.  

 And we're not just talking about home sales.  According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, applications for refinancing have jumped more than 50 percent from just last year.

 "If you are thinking from the investment standpoint, or you are upside down in your home, I think this is a great time to move forward because most of the markets have stabilized, if not already appreciated," Kauffman said.  

 Kauffman said it could be a ray of light as we try to escape the dark tunnel of real estate recession.