WASHINGTON — The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has launched a newly designed Web site that provides detailed information about the $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers that is a key measure in the economic stimulus legislation signed into law Feb. 17 by President Barack Obama. The Web site, www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com, includes basic information about the tax credit and a detailed question and answer section. It also includes information about other housing-related and small business measures in the legislation and a number of home-buying resources for consumers.

For more information on the Web site, click here.

The NAHB also said that the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), released Feb. 17, held in the single digits for a fourth consecutive month in February. The HMI rose a single point to 9 — virtually unchanged from an all-time record low the previous month — indicating that homebuilders have seen essentially no improvement in the market for new, single-family homes.
 
“Clearly, the market for new single-family homes remains very weak at this time,” said NAHB Chairman Joe Robson, a homebuilder from Tulsa, OK. “However, looking forward, we are certainly hopeful that the newly passed economic stimulus bill, which includes some favorable elements for first-time homebuyers and small businesses, will have a positive impact that will help get housing and the economy back on track.”
 
Two out of three of the HMI’s component indexes gained a bit of ground in February, with the index gauging current sales conditions rising a single point to 7 and the index gauging traffic of prospective buyers rising three points to 11. Meanwhile, the index gauging sales expectations in the next six months fell two points to a new record low of 15. Regionally, the HMI rose a single point in both the South and West, to 12, and 5, respectively, in February. The Midwest posted a two-point gain, to 8, and the Northeast registered a one-point decline, to 9. Read more.


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