Tax credit could usher in an atypical fourth-quarter surge in housing market

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The recently extended homebuyer tax credit could heat up a typically chilly fourth-quarter housing market. Real estate search engine saw traffic swell the day Congress approved the law, which allows first-time homebuyers to take advantage of up to $8,000 in tax credits until April 30, and increases the income limits for eligibility. Some repeat buyers can also qualify for up to $6,500, which means that homeowners who have been putting off listing their houses on the market because of the downturn might soon try to move on to something better. Experts recommend against procrastinating, especially given what hopefully first-time buyers learned as they scrambled to find suitable inventory before the original Nov. 30 tax credit deadline. While those who didn’t find homes by Nov. 30 got lucky, buyers shouldn’t expect another extension beyond April 30, and interest rates are expected to rise next year as well. [WSJ]

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