Doubts over tax cuts boost property sales

November 09, 2010 01:30PM

President Barack Obama

With uncertainty surrounding the status of federal tax cuts, longtime U.S. property owners are testing the sales market, setting the stage for a jump in transactions, followed by a decline, Robert Knakal told Crain’s. Knakal, chairman of Massey Knakal Realty Services, said his brokerage firm has already seen a surge in deals, with contract signings reaching their highest monthly totals in three years. “This is just like ‘cash for clunkers’ or the first-time homebuyers’ tax credit,” Knakal said. “It’s essentially going to steal activity from the beginning of next year to the end of this year.” President Barack Obama has proposed ending the tax cuts enacted by George W. Bush for families making more than $250,000 a year and raising levies on capital gains, which include real estate profits, to 20 percent from 15 percent for those same earners. Republicans want to make the reductions permanent for all Americans. Congress will continue debating the issue when it returns for a session starting Nov. 15. [Crain’s]