Local News

Homebuilders want incentives to aid more buyers

Posted January 13, 2009 10:44 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT

— Wake County homebuilders are traveling Wednesday to Washington, D.C., to speak with lawmakers. They don't want a bailout, but more incentives for people to buy.

"What we are asking is to give money to consumers, so they will buy houses,” said Tim Minton, executive director of the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County.

At 5:45 a.m., 86 homebuilders will board two buses at the Home Builders Association facility, 5580 Centerview Drive. From there, they will travel to the nation's capital to make their case to lawmakers.

"A home buyer that might easily qualify to buy one of my homes two or three years ago now struggles to buy one of my homes today,” said John Brewer, with Bluepoint Homes Inc.

Brewer said he would normally have nearly 10 homes under construction but he only has one. Despite the slow down, he said he is optimistic the housing market can bounce back.

"We need Congress to take action and kind of move housing out of the slump it is in nationally," Brewer said.

"I am hoping we will see something from our meetings,” Minton said.

The homebuilders plan to ask lawmakers for lower interest rates and tax credits for buyers. Wake County needs incentives badly, Minton said. Homebuilding permits are down around 50 percent over last year.

The homebuilders have meetings scheduled with Republican Sen. Richard Burr, Rep. Brad Miller, Rep. Bob Etheridge and Rep. David Price.

There are about 600 members of the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County. In past trips to D.C., only around 15 members have gone.

"This is the first time we have done it at this scale," Minton said of Wednesday's trip to D.C.