At risk of losing credit: 55,000 – 75,000
Grim’s estimate of lost sales: 18,300 – 25,000 (~33.33% loss)
Median Home Price (April): $173,000
Average Commission: 5%
Lost Commissions: $158,295,000 – $216,250,000
Cost to us: $440,000,000 – $600,000,000
From the WSJ:
What if the home-buyer tax credit worked too well?
That’s the latest concern from the real-estate industry, which says that a last-minute home-buying rush in April created bottlenecks at lenders and real-estate service companies that may not be able to finalize purchases in time for tens of thousands of buyers to receive a tax credit worth up to $8,000.
On Thursday, there were signs that the real-estate lobby had successfully communicated those concerns to Congress. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) joined Sen. Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.) and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R., Ga.) in sponsoring a measure that would give buyers until Sept. 30 to close on sales that went into contract by April 30. That measure would be attached to a job-related bill before the Senate. It would need House and Senate passage before being signed by President Obama.
Congress last fall extended an $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers and added a smaller $6,500 credit for current homeowners. For now, buyers who signed contracts by April 30 have until June 30 to close on those sales in order to claim the tax credit.
One worry has been that short sales, where a lender allows a home to sell for less than the amount owed, won’t receive requisite bank approvals in time to meet the closing deadline. Short sales are “clearly at risk” because agents and loan officers have little control over getting those deals approved, says Tim Wilson, who heads the mortgage and title divisions at real-estate brokerage Long & Foster Cos. “I think you’ll see a lot of those not make the deadline,” he says.
The National Association of Realtors says 55,000 to 75,000 prospective buyers are at risk of losing their tax credit, but it’s unclear how many sales would actually fall through for those who miss out on the tax credit. Buyers could be hard-pressed to void signed sales contracts unless they’ve made their closing contingent on receiving the tax credit or are willing to forego any deposits.