Policy rss

NAHB Updates Local Impact of Home Building Numbers

A recent Eye on Housing post reported on NAHB’s 800th customized local impact study. In addition to studies customized to a particular area, NAHB has traditionally produced a “typical local” report using national average inputs.  This report—showing the jobs, income and taxes generated by residential construction in a typical local area—is available free to everyone on NAHB’s web site. In April 2015, NAHB… Read More ›

Property Taxes Make Up 40% of State and Local Tax Revenues

According to NAHB tabulations of the Census Bureau’s quarterly data, property taxes constituted 39.7% of state and local tax receipts among major sources for 2014. Sales taxes had the second largest share at 27.8%, followed closely by individual income tax at 27.9%. At 4.6%, corporate income taxes held the smallest share of state and local tax receipts among major sources. Further gains are expected in… Read More ›

Working at Home: Who Claims the Home Office Deduction?

With tax preparation season well underway, it is a good time to examine the use of the home office deduction. Often cited as a “red flag” for tax audits, the home office deduction is in fact a legitimate business deduction with particular importance for certain careers and small business owners. Moreover – from the housing economics perspective – IRS data… Read More ›

Eye on the Economy: A Focus on Employment

While housing and the economy are off to a slow start at the beginning of 2015, positive developments in the labor market are a source of growing momentum, particularly for housing demand. In February, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicate that payroll employment expanded by 295,000 jobs and the unemployment rate dropped to 5.5%. It is important… Read More ›

Use of Depreciation Deductions in Real Estate and Construction

Examination of IRS data demonstrates the importance of various depreciation deductions for the construction and real estate sectors. These rules include the Section 179 small business expensing option, bonus depreciation, and normal tax depreciation. The data also illustrate what classes of property are most common, including the 5-year class for construction equipment and apartment property. This information is useful for the… Read More ›

Eye on the Economy: Jobs Gains Will Support Housing Demand

The end of 2014 saw an acceleration of job creation that compared favorably with the poor start to the year. Combined with the ongoing expansion of consumer confidence, these trends will help support housing demand and residential construction during 2015. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that payroll employment expanded by 257,000 in January, with an additional 147,000 jobs… Read More ›

Home Price Growth and Children’s Education and Earnings

A recently published paper by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston demonstrates a link between home price gains – and homeownership in general – and the educational attainment and future earnings of children. The paper contributes to the broad academic literature demonstrating the positive social and individual impacts of homeownership. Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics… Read More ›

Who Does LIHTC Housing Serve?

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) ensures a supply of affordable rental housing. Created as part of the 1986 tax reform effort, the LIHTC, also known as the affordable housing credit, has been responsible for financing the development of more than 2.6 million affordable rental homes. In a typical year, the housing credit also supports approximately 96,000 jobs. A recent… Read More ›

New Research Highlights Finance Constraints on Housing Demand

An interesting new paper published by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York demonstrates the important role downpayment and wealth constraints play in shaping housing demand, particularly for lower-income homebuyers. Using survey data, the authors (Andreas Fuster and Basit Zafar) employ a strategy to measure housing demand impacts that contrasts with the often used user cost model of housing in… Read More ›