To pay for other tax cuts benefiting individuals and corporations, the GOP tax plan trims the mortgage interest deduction and property tax deduction, which combined allow some homeowners to take tens of thousands of dollars off their taxable income.
Economists and housing experts broadly agree the changes will slow price increases in expensive housing markets — though nobody expects housing value to decline given the overall strength of the economy and the fact that there are relatively few houses for sale in top markets.
Housing prices have been increasing by about 6 percent a year over the past five years nationally, according the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller index.
Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, a research firm, estimates that in the New York metropolitan region, some counties could see prices 10 percent below where they would have been without the tax bill by summer of 2019.
“The impact on house prices is much greater for higher-priced homes, especially in parts of the country where incomes are higher and there are thus a disproportionate number of itemizes, and where homeowners have big mortgages and property tax bills.” According to Moody’s analysis, home prices in the District could deflate by 2 percent, 2.5 percent in Montgomery County and 2.3 percent in Arlington County.
By way of example, if the price of a $500,000 home in the District would have risen to $525,000 by the summer of 2019, under the new law it will only go up to $515,000, assuming a 3 percent rather than 5 percent increase.
The new law’s effect on property taxes will impact more than 90,000 homeowners in the Washington region, according to ATTOM.
To Pinto and some housing experts, Congress’s decision to take a few steps back from subsidizing homeownership is welcome news after years of government advocacy of homeownership.
Beyond tweaking the mortgage interest deduction and state and local tax deduction, the GOP tax bill also doubles the size of the standard deduction to $24,000 for a married couple.
In the past, the value of the housing deductions may have nudged people into buying homes even when they may not wanted to, Pinto said.