Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hi Friends,

I just wanted to pass on the most recent information regarding the new legislation being pased regarding taxes and housing tax credits. James Liptak, President of the California Association of Realtors, reports the following in our most recent C.A.R. newsletter:

"Following several months of debate and delays, our state representatives in Sacramento delivered a 2009-2010 budget to Governor Schwarzenegger today. The governor is expected to sign the budget as presented. Although details are sketchy, the budget appears to raise existing sales tax levels by 1 percent, and places a 0.25-percent income tax increase across the board. Under provisions included in the new budget, the vehicle license fee will increase from 0.65 percent to 1.15 percent of a vehicle’s value.

The budget also includes: a tax credit (equal to the lesser of 5 percent of the purchase price, or $10,000) for the purchase of a single-family residence that has never been occupied, as a principal residence, between March 1, 2009, and March 1, 2010; and a 90-day additional delay in foreclosure sales, intended to force lenders to implement a proactive workout program that rewrites loans in default."

As you know, we cannot count on the media to report in a timely manner, as it took them almost a year to acknowledge that we had been in a recession for at least a year. It would not behoove buyers and sellers to wait fot the media to finally report a Recovery, as by then the window of opportunity for sales and purchases would be closed. Recent predictions across the board are for an increase in interest rates, and for Recovery in 2010. The number of foreclosures held steady or fell in number this month (depending on the area) - a positive indicator; and the Stimulus plan is intended to reduce foreclosure activity, which should further stabilize prices. Thus, if you are considering any kind of real estate transaction, economic indicators suggest that you move soon while we are still at a market low. By the time you hear the news that we are out of the hole, you will have to pay more for the same deal. I will pass on more news as it is released. Call or email me if you like to peruse charts and graphs and I will get some to you immediately. Wishing you all health, security and prosperity in these tough, but opportunity rich times.

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