HUD Secretary Announces Monetization of Tax Credit at NAR Real Estate Summit

Shaun Donovan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said that the Federal Housing Administration is going to permit its lenders to allow homeowners to use the $8,000 tax credit as a down-payment. Secretary Donovan said that important changes, which the National Association of Realtors® has been calling for, will help consumers purchase a home. “We all want to enable FHA consumers to access the home buyer tax credit funds when they close on their home loans so that the cash can be used as a down-payment,” Donovan said. According to Donovan, the FHA’s approved lenders will be permitted to “monetize” the tax credit through short-term bridge loans. This will allow eligible home buyers to access the funds immediately at the closing table.

Donovan said the Obama administration plans to further stabilize the housing market. “I do think we have some early signs that the market overall is stabilizing,” said Donovan. “Since January we’ve seen both home sales moving up and down around a relatively stable number and we are seeing the first signs that the rapid decline in home prices is starting to abate.”

NAR President Charles McMillan, a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Dallas-Fort Worth, said, “As the leading advocate for housing issues and homeownership, NAR continues to take a leadership role in promoting ideas for improving our economy by stabilizing the housing and real estate markets. Today we have the best of the best to begin a dialogue, develop solutions and initiate action toward real estate and economic recovery.”

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