Sorting Through the Tax Reform Proposals

Shortly before the Thanksgiving holiday, the National Association of REALTORS® hosted a Facebook Live event on the status of the tax reform proposals making their way through Congress.

Here are a few of the key takeaways from that Nov. 22 event:

Although there are significant differences between the House and Senate tax reform bills, they are very similar in the way they affect homeowners and the tax incentives of homeownership.

If the legislation becomes law, NAR’s outside research estimates that home values will drop 10 percent on average during the first few years.

The residency requirement to exempt from tax the gain from selling a primary home will change from two of the past five years to five of the past eight.

A decline in home values could cause millions of homeowners—especially recent buyers—to find themselves suddenly underwater with their mortgages, owing more than the home is worth.

The increase in the national debt that stems from the tax cuts could cause interest rates to increase, exacerbating the negative aspects of the tax bill for current and prospective homeowners.

1031 like-kind exchanges for real property remain unchanged, which is good news for the commercial real estate sector.

Interest on home equity loans will not be deductible for either new credit lines (House bill) or at all (Senate bill).

Deductions for mortgage interest and property tax will not be limited for investment properties.

The negative tax effects on the housing market could worsen over time because income and home value limits in the bills are not indexed for inflation.

—REALTOR® Magazine