June is National Homeownership Month and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) says that owning a home is as much a part of the American Dream as ever. The Association commissioned a large-scale survey of 11,300 registered voter earlier this year and found that 70 percent feel owning a home is important.
“Americans continue to place a high priority on homeownership and work hard to achieve this goal for their families,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald. “Our members are committed to providing high-quality homes that meet the diverse needs of Americans across the country.”
In a press release, NAHB said the homeownership rate is at a record low, stalled at around 64 percent. A key component in achieving homeownership for more Americans, regardless of income, is the mortgage interest deduction (MID), which been a part of American housing policy since the inception of the tax code more than 100 years ago. The deduction primarily benefits middle-class taxpayers, according to data from the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation. NAHB says it supports this tax incentive, as well as provisions that encourage development of affordable housing.
Elimination of the interest rate deduction is nearly always a subject for discussion when there are serious attempts to reform the tax code. The deduction is available for both a primary residence and a property (real or not) claimed as a second home. It is capped at interest on mortgages (on one or both properties) of $1 million and/or a $100,000 home equity loans.
In addition to promoting the MID, NAHB spoke out against regulations on all levels of government that affect home building. “We have long fought for sensible reforms to burdensome regulations that needlessly increase the cost of homes for low- and middle-income families,” said MacDonald, noting NAHB research that shows government regulations add about 24 percent to the cost of housing. We must support the dream of homeownership and not create barriers through unnecessary federal regulations or tax code changes,” MacDonald said.
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