Debating fairness of upfront tax credit

Mood of the Market

If you’ve been reading this column since it started a few weeks ago, you by now have realized that I have a lot to get off my chest. So much so that I never took the time to introduce the new column and its subject matter, which is somewhat different from my normal real estate consumer advocate-cheerleader material.

However, the May 29 announcement of U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department Secretary Shaun Donovan’s decision (after much very public dithering) to allow homebuyers to use the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit upfront, toward their down payment and/or closing costs, was such a pure manifestation of behavioral economics in practice that it reminded me to circle back and do a proper introduction to this "Mood of the Market" column.