What would happen to home values in the event that popular real estate deductions for mortgage interest and local property taxes were cut significantly? It’s an issue you’re likely to hear more about as Congress and the Obama administration wade deeper into “fiscal cliff” and comprehensive tax reform negotiations heading into 2013.
Some of the forecasts are scary: Any significant reductions in these long-established tax benefits would inevitably trigger declines in home values. Under some circumstances, they could be well into the double digits — 15 percent, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors. “That’s how much we can expect values to fall as buyers discount the value of the deduction in their purchase offers,” Yun said. [more]