From the WSJ Developments Blog:
Congress voted on Thursday to extend the tax credit and President Obama plans on signing it into law Friday morning. The $8,000 credit will apply to all contracts, for homes up to $800,000, entered into before April 30, 2010, and closed by June 30. It creates a new $6,500 credit for property owners who have lived in their home for at least five consecutive years.
Income limits for eligible home buyers are expanded to $125,000 for single buyers and $225,000 for couples, from $75,000 and $150,000, respectively. To help guard against fraud, buyers are required to attach documentation of purchase to their tax return.
From the NY Times:
Congress threw good money after bad this week when it voted to extend and expand a wasteful home buyer’s tax credit set to expire at the end of the month.
The new program, which will continue through the spring, is being portrayed as a rescue plan for the ailing housing market. But this costly giveaway to the real estate and mortgage industry will spend far more in taxpayers’ dollars than it can ever deliver in economic benefit. As happened with the cash-for-clunkers program in the automobile industry, the program will make housing look momentarily betterbut is unlikely to contribute to long-term recovery.
The bill that passed both houses of Congress this week extends the program through April 2010 and grants the full tax credit to couples who earn up to $225,000. The expanded program introduces a $6,500 tax credit for people who already own homes but want to buy new ones.