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Northeast Ohio Homebuyers Could Get Some Help from Biden Proposal

house for sale
Mark Arehart
The average number of homes sold in Cuyahoga, Summit, and Portage Counties was up year-to-year in December by close to 29 percent.

With home prices up about 8 percent nationwide from last year, President Joe Biden is proposing a $15,000 tax credit to help first-time home buyers.

Amanda Weinstein, an economics professor at the University of Akron, says that could push home prices higher. But it could also spur more new construction.

Weinstein on first time buyers.mp3
Amanda Weinstein: homes in demand

“When you're talking about first-time buyers and younger buyers, they are waiting longer to get married. They're waiting longer to have kids, so they don't necessarily immediately want the three or four-bedroom home on a half-acre," Weinstein said. "They might be looking for a smaller home and those walkable neighborhoods. So, some of the issue with supply is not the quantity but the type of supply that's currently on the market.”

Weinstein adds that a projected increase in mortgage rates over the next year is unlikely to wipe out any advantages for first-time buyers, since rates are already historically low.

On the campaign trail, Biden had outlined the proposal as part of a $640 billion effort to combat housing discrimination.