How Many People Have Used the Homebuyer Credit in D.C.?
In D.C., roughly one out of every 445 people filed for the credit. In the entire state of Maryland, 23,679 have filed for the credit, roughly one out of every 237 residents. In Virginia, 40,527 have filed for the credit, roughly one out of every 191 locals. (I calculated these numbers comparing the original figures with population estimates from the Census Bureau's 2008 survey.)
The tax credit information comes from Jim Dupree, a spokesperson with the Internal Revenue Service. (I've blogged about the homebuyer credit frequently in the last few weeks as the newest version of the popular credit was making its way through Congress.)
So 1,329—not terribly impressive?
I wouldn't say that.
First, there are a few points of explanation and caveats to note:
These figures include people that applied for 2008's first-time homebuyer tax credit for up to $ 7,500, in addition to the people filing for the $8,000 credit, which arrived later on.
The numbers also only take into account people that filed for their credit on or before August 22 of this year. And there are, presumably, plenty of people who bought houses in anticipation of filing for the credit with their 2009 tax documents, due next April. You can apply for a reimbursement immediately—but you don't need to.
So these numbers are, well, only indicative of the scale of the credit's impact in each area's market.
Also, naturally, Maryland and Virginia are going to see more first-time homebuyers combing through their foreclosure-ravaged communities. Home values in D.C. have barely dropped in comparison to those in Prince William County and Prince George's County.
I'm writing about the first-time homebuyer credit in my column this week. I talked to one Capitol Hill agent that worked with 11 first-time homebuyers in the last few months; eight have been in D.C. Of his clientele, most are "nonprofit folks, government employees," looking for houses priced at $250,000 and below.
Think about which neighborhoods in D.C. will meet his clients' criteria. Not many.