LAS VEGAS -- One of the nation's leading real estate executives offered credit union mortgage executives a robust defense of the home buyers tax credit that had been in place earlier this year.
James Gillespie, CEO of Coldwell Banker, told credit union executives that while he did not defend all the spending decisions the federal government made, the new home buyer tax credit had been a wise expenditure.
Some economists and pundits have criticized the home buyers tax credit for not bringing new buyers into the real estate market.
But Gillespie said that research from Coldwell Banker and other firms has shown that every home sale added between $50,000 and $60,000 to the local economy where the sale was made and that the National Association of Realtors has data demonstrating that every home sale adds one job in the local community over the following year.
Gillespie also noted the program has helped stabilize home prices, keeping thousands of Americans from slipping underwater on their mortgages or having to accept foreclosure.
He also strongly defended home ownership as part of what Americans have largely defined as the American Dream. This is the notion of a home as a place Americans can own, change as they like, have a yard, start and rear their families and is a deeper meaning of home ownership than real estate as an investment, Gillespie said.
"It's that idea that is coming back to the fore again in the wake of the housing finance crisis the country has been through," Gillespie added.