The National Association of Home Builders is urging its 200,000 members to pressure their lawmakers to extend the $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers.
“If Congress acts to extend the tax credit program, it would spur 383,000 additional home sales, including 80,000 housing starts, creating nearly 350,000 jobs over the coming year,” said NAHB Chairman Joe Robson. “That’s good for the economy and good for America.”
Although there have been some signs of economic stabilization in recent weeks, the unemployment rate is still climbing, NAHB notes.
“At best, it looks like a jobless recovery once it gets underway,” said Robson. “This is why Congress needs to take bold, meaningful action now.”
The NAHB Executive Board voted Aug. 4 to launch a major grassroots campaign to focus congressional attention on housing “in order to ensure that the first flickering of recovery in the housing market and economy aren’t extinguished,” the organization said
In addition to extending the tax credit, which is set to expire on Dec. 1, Robson said home builders will be meeting with their lawmakers in their home districts within the next few weeks and urging them to:
• Change the appraisal process. NAHB says distressed and foreclosed sales are being inappropriately factored into comps in determining home values, hurting both home values and home sales. A recent NAHB survey of more than 500 builders found that one out of every four new-home sales are lost because appraisals are coming in below the contract sales price.
NAHB is urging Congress to work with housing and federal regulators to adopt and enforce clear, concise regulatory guidance that will allow appraisers to develop realistic valuations based on sales that are truly comparable.
• Improve housing credit conditions. NAHB wants Congress to urge regulators and the banking industry “to end the stranglehold on” acquisition, development and construction (AD&C) loans.
More on NAHB’s “Revive Housing, Restore America” effort is available at www.nahb.org/revivehousingnow.