Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tax Incentives Benefit Younger Households


Tax Incentives Benefit Younger Households
by Carla Hill


Younger Americans may now have added incentive to enter the housing market. New research reported by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) shows that certain mortgage tax deductions may decline with age, and thus favor the younger set of the nation, specifically those aged 18 to 45.

Recently released Statistics of Income (SOI) data from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) shows, according to the NAHB, that "the descriptive statistics ... demonstrate that the housing-related tax deductions, the mortgage interest and real estate tax deductions, strongly benefit younger households who tend to be recent homebuyers with larger mortgage debt."

These findings could affect how tax codes changes are proposed in coming years, as an ailing housing market needs first-time and Generation Y homebuyers to enter the market.

"Opponents falsely argue that the [mortgage interest] deduction is only for the wealthy but it is clear that the mortgage interest deduction is also of great value to younger homeowners," said Robert Dietz, Assistant Vice President for Tax and Policy Issues for NAHB. "Any tampering with this deduction would have a disproportionate impact, as a share of household income, on younger homeowners who have relatively higher mortgage interest payments. These are households who have growing demand for homeownership due to marriages and children."

According to the research, the average mortgage interest deduction was highest for the 35 to 45 age group, and then declined with age. Those under the age of 35 had the second largest deductions, at around $12,000 average.

The same trend is seen for mortgage insurance deductions. NAHB research shows "as is expected, the largest shares for this deduction, associated with homebuyers with less than 20% of the home price as a downpayment, are for those aged 18 to 45."

These tax advantages, along with more affordable pricing and historically low interest rates are even more reason that new buyers should consider entering the market at this time.

Published: October 13, 2010

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