WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration on Thursday pressed Congress to back a limited extension of a popular first-time homebuyer tax credit that is set to expire at the end of November.
"This credit has brought new families into the housing market and contributed to three consecutive months of rising home prices nationwide," Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said in a prepared statement.
The statement made no mention of a possible expansion of the credit to repeat buyers of primary residences.
Key senators agreed this week on a proposal to extend the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit, which expires at the end of November, for houses under contract by the end of April. Buyers would have through June to close on the house.
The senators also agreed to expand the credit to allow for those who have been in their home for at least five years to receive a $6,500 tax credit if they purchase a new primary residence.
The administration had been open to extending the existing credit but has expressed concern about the cost of expanding the credit to repeat buyers.
Both the Senate and the House of Representatives would have to approve the deal reached by the key senators before it could be sent to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature into law.
(Reporting by Corbett B. Daly; Editing by Andrea Ricci)