With no chirp audible about any more extension, midnight will be the home closing deadline on a buyers tax credit that's been like a fix to the housing market.

The tax credit stimulant pulled many future purchases into the present, and the question is how many and how far into the future. The market was high again for a while, but Long Island sales are now experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

There's no reliable way to estimate the number of future sales closed, but the lower the median price is, the higher the number of sales scooped from the future, said Jonathan Miller (shown here), a Manhattan-based appraiser who tracks Long Island home sales. That's because the credit of up to $8,000 represents a bigger saving on the home price, he said.

"I would say six months out is where the lion's share of poaching occurred," Miller said. It's possible the credit pulled in purchases that had been planned for next year, but it's hard to move up a house buying agenda from so far ahead, he said.

He downplays the tax credit as the right shot in the arm for the economy, because now it's more clear that one needs a job to get mortgage.

"All it did was move chairs around in the room," the appraiser said of the credit. "You gave a sort of false positive state of housing and you set yourself up for a fall . . . You went from artificially high to artificially low and then what that does is bring out much more negative numbers than if we didn't haven't the credit at all and it builds public sentiment to be more negative."

On Long Island and Queens, August closings were off 18 percent from a year ago, when people were more afraid to buy than now, and July closings were down 53 percent from June, the initial deadline for the tax credit, according to data from the Long Island Board of Realtors.

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