With the nation's unemployment rate busting through the 10% mark in October, President Obama on Friday signed legislation extending the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit and giving additional tax breaks to certain homeowners trading up.
Passed overwhelmingly by Congress, the bill would provide a $6,500 tax credit to homeowners who are buying a new primary residence beginning Dec. 1.
The language mandates that to get the credit the homeowner must have owned their home for five consecutive years of the previous eight.
But there are caps on the tax credits. They only apply to individual buyers who make no more than $125,000 and $250,000 for couples.
There is also an anti-flipping provision: Any homeowner who collects the credit and sells within three years must return the money. The FTHB was extended to cover consumers signing a contract by April 30 and closing by June 30.
Meanwhile, the Department of Labor reported Friday that the nation's unemployment rate rose above 10% for the first time since 1983 in October, a much worse jump than expected. The increase in joblessness will lead to an upswing in residential mortgage delinquencies.
In October, the unemployment rate spiked to 10.2%, compared with 9.8% in September. Economists had forecast an increase to 9.9%.