PHILADELPHIA. With the federal homebuyer tax credit set to expire Friday, some would expect local real estate agent Joe Bianco to be scrambling to scoop up potential last-minute buyers. Instead, Bianco is confident he won't see a doomsday-like decline in sales.
"I think South Philly is a pretty hot market and think it’s going to be pretty steady the rest of the year," said Bianco, co-owner of Alpha Realty Group in South Philadelphia.
About 400,000 sales nationally have been attributed to the credit since its inception last year and extension last November. Buyers have to sign a sales sheet by Friday and close by June 30 to get in on the action.
Some experts predict that activity will increase before the deadline, but slightly tail off after the credit and spring buying season close, although it won't be known until after June.
"I think we’ll see a spurt in sales and prices this spring and that will level off and remain sluggish for the rest of the year," said Econsult Corp. vice president Kevin Gillen. "I think the tax credit really helped to initially stabilize the housing market…but as it wore on, we sort of hit the point of diminishing returns."