The rumor mill is bubbling with reports that Uncle Sam is ready to take another whack at the housing market piñata, this time with a fresh version of last year’s homebuyer tax credit.
The media scuttlebutt may be premature, if not incorrect.
According to U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan – the federal government’s chief housing executive – it’s all news to him.
"It is not high on anyone's list that we have heard. We have not heard Congress talking about renewing it," Donovan said in response to a reporter’s question on Wednesday.
It’s risky to read between the lines, especially in Washington where slick politicians don’t speak when they can nod, and don’t nod when they can wink. Donovan may be backtracking under pressure from either Congress or the White House (and possibly both) after implying on national television Sunday morning that the Obama Administration hasn’t ruled out a new homebuyer tax credit. Specifically, Donovan said on CNN that it was too soon to determine whether a new tax credit was in the government pipeline.
"I think it's too early to say after one month of numbers whether the tax credit will be revived or not. All I can tell you is that we are watching very carefully,” Donovan said.