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Home builders congratulate President-Elect Obama

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) today congratulated Senator Barack Obama on his election as the nation's 44th president and all the lawmakers who were elected to the 111th Congress.

"The nation's home builders look forward to working in a bipartisan manner with the incoming Obama administration and new Congress to help solve our nation's economic crisis and get housing and the economy back on track," said NAHB president and CEO Jerry Howard.

The NAHB and other industry advocates are urging Congress to move forward in a lame-duck session to enact a second economic stimulus package that includes key housing recovery provisions.

To provide short-term targeted incentives that will help put a floor on home prices and encourage Americans to buy homes again, the NAHB is urging Congress to provide:

• A 10 percent home buyer tax credit up to a maximum of $22,000, depending on the FHA loan limit in a given market. Available to all buyers who purchase a home over the next year, the tax credit would not have to be repaid by the buyer and would replace the temporary $7,500 first-time home buyer tax credit due to expire on July 1, 2009.

• An interest-rate buy down on conforming loans for all families purchasing a home through the end of 2009. The plan would reduce the interest rate to 2.99 percent on 30-year mortgages for homes purchased through June 30, 2009; the interest rate would increase to 3.99 percent on contracts closed between July 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2009.

"Getting consumers off the sidelines will reduce the inventory of unsold homes, stop the erosion of home values in hard-hit markets and result in more new- and existing-home sales in the months ahead, restoring housing as an essential driver of growth in the nation's economy," said Howard.

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