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Analysts take on home market

Jonathan Miller

Jonathan Miller Photo Credit: Patrick McCarthy

Another report this week shows home sales slumped on Long Island from spring to summer, due in a big way to the rush to get the federal home buyers tax credit, which had been due to expire April 30.

It’s tough to tell the true health of the housing market because of stimulants to the economy, said Jonathan Miller, a Manhattan-based appraiser who compiled the report.
Yes, the tax credit has ended but not all the artificial boosters are gone from the system, he said.

“We got a couple years to really be sort of free,” he said. “We’re doing everything we can to not let the market clear on its own. We’re in a post-stimulus world really, except for interest rates.”

Miller’s referring to lending rates kept low by the Federal Reserve: “The Fed is trying to get the banks not to collapse and that has worked. But you get used to it. When you remove it, it’s like the tax credit. Sales fall through the floor.”

But hey, who’s calling the feds a stimulant dealer?

Miller, outspoken about the ills of the market, won’t go there. All he’ll say is this: “The housing market has sort of been kept going by federal stimulus and that would be sort of the drug of choice right now.”

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