(KCPW News) The Salt Lake Board of Realtors says new local and federal housing incentives will make a big difference to Utah's housing market. Governor Huntsman signed a bill last week to create a $6,000 grant program to provide money to 1,600 homebuyers purchasing a newly constructed home. Board President Ryan Kirkham says getting rid of inventory will help home builders and the construction industry get back to work.
"This move by the state, by the legislature and the governor is really a great move because that money should drive that inventory down even lower, which is really important to help us fix this housing market. You can't have an economic recovery without housing," Kirkham said.
The governor's office estimates that Utah has 3,000 unsold newly built homes available, and 18,000 Utah construction workers who lost jobs last year.
And the Federal Reserve has announced it will buy as much as $300 billion in U.S. Treasury securities and hundreds of billions of dollars in mortgage backed securities, pushing interest rates down to 4.5 percent. Kirkham says this will allow home buyers to be able to afford a bigger home.
"People are kind of excited about this, and there is a little bit of a buzz, and I actually think we might see things really pick up here because it's just a time where if you are thinking about buying at all, you can't pass up these opportunities its almost crazy to not take advantage of this," Kirkham said.
In addition to the grant from the state, first-time homebuyers can also qualify for an $8,000 federal tax credit.