One part of Trump's new tax plan could make buying a home even harder for millennials

  • President Donald Trump and the House GOP unveiled a massive tax-reform bill on Thursday.
  • It proposes a new limit — $US500,000 from the current $US1 million — for home-mortgage-interest deductions.
  • Millennials and buyers in expensive markets would be most affected by the disappearing homeownership incentives.

President Donald Trump’s new tax plan just dealt a blow to many would-be homeowners.

The 429-page GOP tax plan, called the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” was revealed on Thursday and is being billed as a boon for hard-working middle class Americans.

But Republicans have proposed paring down popular homeownership incentives, which would likely affect millennials and millions of people living in high-cost housing markets.

The tax plan cuts the $US1 million limit for the home-mortgage-interest deduction in half. The bill would apply to new home purchases and make it so homeowners can only deduct interest payments on up to $US500,000 worth of home loans.

In previous generations, that may have been a typical mortgage amount for a first-time homebuyer, but today’s young people are different. Millennials are “skipping starter homes,” Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff said, and moving straight to the $US1 million range when its time to buy their first house.

The mortgage size on a $US1 million home would be $US800,000 — assuming the homebuyer makes a down payment of 20% of the purchase price, though some are putting down payments as low as 10%. Under the proposed bill, the homeowner could only deduct interest on the first $US500,000 of the loan, leaving them to shoulder the rest of the principal and interest payments without the benefit of a tax deduction.

What’s more, home prices — and thus, loan amounts — are much higher in pricey coastal markets like New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, and Washington DC. Millennial populations in these cities are only increasing.

“Eliminating or nullifying the tax incentives for homeownership puts home values and middle-class homeowners at risk, and from a cursory examination, this legislation appears to do just that,” said William E. Brown, president of the National Association of Realtors.

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