Realtors, Builders Rally to Save Mortgage Interest Deduction

December 2, 2010 No Comments »

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Both the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) launched efforts to save the at-risk mortgage interest deduction, which is at risk of being cut or eliminated.

In a press release, NAR claimed that any changes to the mortgage interest deduction “could critically erode home prices and the value of homes by as much as 15 percent.”

The group also cited a recent survey, which found that of about 3,000 homeowners and renters polled, nearly three-quarters of homeowners and two-thirds of renters said the mortgage interest deduction was “extremely” or “very important” to them.

The NAHB went a step further in creating a website dedicated to the cause, called SaveMyMortgageInterestDeduction.com.

It includes information about the mortgage interest deduction, the threat to do away with it, and a twitter feed to keep track of related news.

“Home owners who itemize their taxes can deduct 100 percent of their mortgage interest payments on a first or second home for up to $1 million of mortgage debt and $100,000 of home equity loans,” the NAHB said on its new website.

“For most home owners, this means they can deduct ALL of their mortgage interest on their home. This particularly makes the cost of owning a home much more affordable for first-time home buyers and those who have been in their home for just a few years, since the bulk of their monthly house payments go toward interest, which is fully deductible.”

However, the mortgage interest deduction is estimated to cost the government roughly $100 billion this year (mortgage interest deduction by state).

The homebuyer tax credits have come with a price tag of about $22 billion, which many have argued simply pushed would-be buyers into the fold a little earlier.

Should be interesting to see how this plays out…

Related: Are mortgage points tax deductible?

(photo: marshall astor)

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