No decision on reviving US homebuyer credit-Donovan

* Housing secretary says sales report worse than expected

* Florida Senate candidates back homebuyer tax credit

WASHINGTON, Aug 29 (BestGrowthStock) – The Obama administration has
not decided whether it should resurrect a popular tax credit
for first-time homebuyers, U.S. Housing and Urban Development
Secretary Shaun Donovan said on Sunday.

“It’s too early to say whether the tax credit will be
revived,” Donovan said in an interview on CNN’s “State of the
Union” program. He said the administration would “do everything
we can” to stabilize the shaky U.S. housing market.

A federal $8,000 homebuyer tax credit, which expired
several months ago, had boosted home sales, helping to revive a
flagging housing market that had been a key factor in driving
the United States into recession.

It followed a $6,500 credit for those purchasing a new
primary residence, which also has expired.

But an unexpectedly large drop in U.S. home sales in July
— sales of existing homes in the period fell to their slowest
pace in 15 years — has spurred fears that the nation could be
on the cusp of another sharp drop in housing.

Donovan acknowledged the data was worse than the Obama
administration expected but said the government was taking
measures, including rolling out a refinancing program for some
borrowers and an emergency loan program for the unemployed.

Those opposed to bringing back the homebuyer tax credit say
it would blow a bigger hole in the federal deficit, while
supporters see it as key to stabilizing a pillar of the economy
that faces headwinds despite low mortgage interest rates.

“I think it would help enormously,” Florida Governor
Charlie Crist, who is running as an independent for the U.S.
Senate in the November elections, told CNN. “I would absolutely
encourage the president to support that.”

One of Crist’s challengers, U.S. Representative Kendrick
Meek, a Florida Democrat, said he also supported reviving the
tax credit.

Last month, Obama signed a law giving consumers already in
the process of buying a home three extra months to close the
deal and still get the tax credit.

Homebuyers with contracts signed by April 30 who failed to
go to closing by the original June 30 deadline will now have
until Sept. 30 to complete their purchases.
(Writing by Paul Simao, Americas Desk; Editing by Bill Trott)

No decision on reviving US homebuyer credit-Donovan