How will the new tax laws and lower tax rates affect mortgage interest rates? We’ve seen oil and mortgage rates inching up…
|It is the first of the year and we have been inundated with projections regarding the economy, interest rates, real estate and more. It is always hard to predict the future and this year is going to be even harder to predict because of a new variable — the tax law. As we have mentioned previously, the lowering of tax rates is likely to stimulate an already strengthening economy. This should be good news for jobs, retailers and more. The question remains how strong will the economy get and what will the effects be on interest rates, oil prices — and ultimately inflation. We have already seen rates and oil prices creeping up in anticipation of the action. When we move to real estate, the prediction game gets even harder. Economists were already predicting continued inventory shortages, more new homes coming on-line and moderating price increases. But the change in the standard and mortgage deductions will certainly have to be factored into the equation. The doubling of the standard deduction means that those purchasing on the lower end of the scale are more likely to not take advantage of the deduction of interest on home loans. Likewise, those who own higher priced homes are less likely to make a move because they would lose part of their present deduction.
Here is the good news. There are four solid economic reasons to own a home and the tax deduction is only one of these four. The home will still serve as a leveraged investment, a forced savings plan and protection against inflation. As a matter of fact, we feel the tax law’s effect upon interest rates may be a more important factor in determining the direction of the real estate markets than the tweaks made in the deductions. In this regard, those who feel that rates will ultimately rise because of the economic effects of the law may very well be inclined to purchase now rather than later.