Apartment vacancies are up 7.8 percent nationwide

Reported by Casey Roman - email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Apartment vacancies are at a 23 year high with 7.8 percent nationwide.

Renting an apartment has usually been a way to save money, but local broker say low home prices and the new $8,000 housing tax credit has renters becoming buyers.

"There's just been a massive influx of 1st time home buyers taking advantage of the $8,000 tax credit," said Coldwell Sea Coast Broker Buddy Blake.

The price of some starter homes is actually less expensive than an apartment.

"It really is cheaper to get into a house than it is to get into a rental unit and that's why your seeing a move out of rental units at an alarming pace and into these homes," said Alpha Mortgage President Michael Lopez.

"If they're paying $1,200 in one of the nicer 2 bedroom apartment neighborhoods, for $900 dollars a month they could be buying a 3 bedroom," said Blake.

The window of opportunity on the tax credit closes November 30, so if you're looking to buy a house do it soon.

$8,000 Home Buyer Tax Credit at a Glance

  • The tax credit is for first-time home buyers only. For the tax credit program, the IRS defines a first-time home buyer as someone who has not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to the purchase.
  • The tax credit does not have to be repaid.
  • The tax credit is equal to 10 percent of the home's purchase price up to a maximum of $8,000.
  • The credit is available for homes purchased on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009.
  • Single taxpayers with incomes up to $75,000 and married couples with incomes up to $150,000 qualify for the full tax credit.

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