Prudential offers aid to first-time buyers


POSTED: Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Prudential Locations LLC will eliminate lengthy waiting time for government tax reimbursements by advancing qualified first-time homeowners and repeat buyers the money at closing.

Prudential's action coincides with the Nov. 6 signing by President Barack Obama of the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009, which extended a tax credit of up to $8,000 for qualified first-time homebuyers purchasing a principal residence.

In addition to the seven-month extension for first-time homebuyers, the law also broadens the credit's income limit to $125,000 for singles and $225,000 for couples and offers a credit of up to $6,500 for repeat buyers who have lived in their last residence at least five years.

“;Never in my 40 years of working in the real estate industry has the government put forth such a generous offer to aid homebuyers. This is an extraordinary time, and I strongly encourage Hawaii residents to consider taking advantage of this incentive,”; said Bill Chee, Prudential's chief executive officer.

Tax incentives have helped first-time homebuyers to reach their highest market share on record this year, according to the 2009 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.

“;Tax incentives, record-high affordability conditions and a pent-up demand brought a record share of first-time homebuyers into the market,”; said Paul Bishop, NAR vice president of research.

The number of first-time homebuyers rose to 47 percent of all home sales from 41 percent of transactions in last year's study, and was the highest on record dating back to 1981, Bishop said.

“;These buyers are critical to housing and a general economic recovery because the market always heals from the bottom up,”; he said.

“;They absorb inventory, free existing owners to make a trade and stimulate related goods and services,”; he added.

Prudential, who began catering to first-time homebuyers in April by offering advances, has seen its percentage of first-time homebuyer transactions rise to 49 percent this year from 31 percent in 2004.

To date, the company has advanced more than $1 million.