Officials with the Louisiana Realtors Association and the Louisiana Home Builders Association are hoping two Obama administration plans to jumpstart the U.S. economy lead to more home sales around the state. Malcolm Young, CEO of the Realtors association, and Phil Hoffman, homebuilders president, say an $8,000 tax credit for homes purchased through Dec. 1 should boost sales. “I hope this builds consumer confidence,” Young says. Already he’s heard reports of buyer activity picking up in the past two weeks, as people come out to look at houses. Young credits the boost to the historic low interest rates.
Last week, President Barack Obama announced the outlines for a $75 billion mortgage relief plan aimed at keeping between 7 million and 9 million people facing foreclosure in their homes. The plans, which are still being developed, shouldn’t have that big of an effect, since Baton Rouge and Louisiana have some of the lowest foreclosure rates in the country and local home prices have remained fairly stable. Young says he’s hopeful that some additional money is included in the plan. “We need incentives to put homebuyers back in the market place,” he says. “We need to push more money into housing.”—Timothy Boone