I’ve seen the trickle down effect. As a builder’s rep, I have seen the effect of the recession first hand. Sales have been down considerably in the last year. Many of our competitors have gone under. Many of the local sub-contractors have closed shop. There just isn’t enough construction work for all to survive. It’s truly a shame. Good, hard-working people, just trying to make a living, feed their families and put a roof over their heads have lost everything.
This past weekend, I worked with some new potential home buyers. One worked for a local retail furniture sales firm. It’s a very large company, that’s been in the area for many years. Although the couple is looking at homes, they are very hesitant to make a move for two reasons. First, they have a home to sell and are concerned that it may remain on the market for a very long time. Also, furniture sales have plummeted because homes are not selling. So, the poor economy and in particular, the housing slump has effected this couple and many like them.
Those that stay in home construction, struggle on and hope they can make it through to the bright side. But, when will it come? Many in home construction and real estate sales saw a glimmer of hope, with the $8,000 tax credit to first time home buyers. It did help for some and bumped housing figures for several months. But, it didn’t help enough or those selling upper end homes, especially above $300,000.
Now, there are two bills in congress that would extend the tax credit. One would extend to first time buyers only and end next March. The other would extend the credit to all buyers and extend it through June of 2010. Anything is better than nothing, but both fall short of what is needed to truly bring housing back to a level that would put all the American people back to work, who were in this industry. We need more and we need it now. Make your voices heard and bring housing back.