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Posted on 14 Mar 2019
by Lawrence Yun, PhD., Chief Economist and Senior Vice President
Home prices reached an all-time high in most markets in 2018. Homeowners benefited greatly as a result, with their overall net wealth rising by a cool $1 trillion. A typical homeowner’s wealth is estimated to have reached $254,000 while that of a typical renter stood at only $5,000. Looking ahead, home values are poised to advance further in 2019, albeit more modestly. However, home sales slumped badly in the closing months of last year. Persistent sales declines are nearly always associated with dampening home prices and homes sitting on the market for a lengthier time.
Posted on 13 Mar 2019
by Nadia Evangelou, Research Economist
The state and local tax (SALT) deduction allows taxpayers to deduct state and local tax payments on their federal tax returns. The new tax law, called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, instituted a cap on the SALT deduction. Starting from the 2018 tax year, the maximum SALT deduction that taxpayers are able to claim is up to $10,000. In contrast, before the new tax law, there was no limit. This blog focuses on what the reduced deduction means for taxpayers, especially in high-tax states like California, New York and New Jersey. However, let’s first understand how the state and local tax deduction works.
What is the state and local tax deduction?
Taxpayers who itemize their deductions, and therefore don’t take the standard deduction, can deduct what they’ve paid in certain state and local taxes. The SALT deduction includes property, income and sales taxes. To be more specific, a taxpayer who itemizes can deduct property taxes but the taxpayer needs to choose between deducting income and sales taxes. Taxpayers of states with high income taxes typically opt to deduct their state and local income taxes while taxpayers of states with high sales taxes typically deduct their sales taxes. Generally, taxpayers deduct property and income taxes using the SALT deduction.
Nationwide, 30 percent of the taxpayers used the SALT deduction, while the average SALT deduction was $12,540 in the 2016 tax year.
How will the reduced SALT affect taxpayers by each state?
Starting with the 2018 tax year, taxpayers’ SALT deductions are limited to $10,000. However, especially in high-tax states, itemizing taxpayers typically pay an amount higher than this limit. Let’s take a closer look at where most taxpayers claim the SALT deduction and how much they deduct on average.
NAR calculated the percentage of taxpayers that used the SALT deduction and the average deduction for 50 states and DC. In the 2016 tax year, the states with the highest percentage of taxpayers using the SALT deduction are in the Northeast and West regions. The percentage claiming the deduction ranged from 17 percent in West Virginia to 46 percent in Maryland in 2016. In the meantime, the average deduction ranged from $5,130 in Alaska to $21,780 in New York.
For instance, more than 40 percent of the taxpayers claimed the SALT deduction in California, New York and New Jersey while the average deductions in these three states were all over $18,000.
SALT deduction by income level
While the SALT deduction is used across all income levels, the amount of SALT deductions by lower, middle, and upper income taxpayers provides insight into how those taxpayers benefit. Nationwide, almost 40 percent of taxpayers earning between $50,000 to $75,000 per year and more than 70 percent of taxpayers earning $100,000 to $200,000 per year used the SALT deduction. For income brackets above $200,000, almost all of those upper income taxpayers claimed the deduction.
When looking at the total amount deducted by income bracket, it is clear that the SALT deduction benefits taxpayers across all brackets. Specifically, taxpayers earning more than $100,000 deducted above $10,000 (the new limit) on average. These taxpayers represent 14 percent of all taxpayers nationwide.
For more detail information and to scroll across the various parts of the U.S., see below:
Posted on 11 Mar 2019
by Scholastica (Gay) Cororaton, Research Economist
Homeownership has been associated with positive social outcomes, and is also the largest source of wealth among homeowning households. In 2016, the median net worth among homeowners was $231,400, with housing wealth making up 85 percent of wealth (average net housing wealth was $197,500).
Housing wealth contributes positively to the homeowner’s and children’s economic condition, because home equity can be tapped for expenditures such as investing in another property (which can generate rental income), home renovation (which further increases the home value), a child’s college education, emergency or major life events, or expenses in retirement.
Housing wealth (or net worth or equity) is built up over time via the home price appreciation and the principal payments that the homeowner makes on the loan. The chart shows the change in housing wealth (equity) as of 2018 for a home buyer who purchased a typical single-family existing home in the United States 5, 10, 15, or 30 years ago. Over these holding periods, most of the wealth gains are from the appreciation in home values. For example, if one purchased a home five year ago (2013), a home buyer would have typically gained $79,488 in wealth (equity), of which $64,200, or 81 percent is from the home price appreciation ($197,400 in 2013 to $261,600 in 2018). Homeowners who move typically do so in 10 years, so a homeowner who bought a home 10 years ago (2008) would have $91,081 in home equity gains as of 2018). The longer the holding period, the larger the increase in wealth due to home price appreciation and the cumulative principal payments, which reduce the loan balance.
If you had purchased a home just five years ago in these metro areas, here are the typical gains in home equity that you have due to home price appreciation and the principal payments you’ve made:
Metro areas with home equity gains of $200,000 or over for a home purchased 5 years ago:
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Sta. Clara: $620, 410
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward: $393,561
Boulder, CO: $264,395
Anaheim-Sta. Ana-Irvine, CA: $218,773
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA: $216,613
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA: $205,659
Metro areas with lowest equity gains (loss) for a home purchased 5 years ago:
Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ: ($8,593)
New Jersey City-White Plains, NJ-NY: $3,336
Cumberland, MB-WV: $6,215
Trenton, NJ: $7943
Elmira, NY: $8,705
Use this data visualization to explore the typical increase in housing wealth across metro areas as of 2018 if you purchase a home 5, 10, 15, 30 years ago. These are typical gains and are illustrative of the magnitude of the wealth gains over time. Actual wealth gains will vary by property:
 Lawrence Yun and Nadia Evangelou, Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing, Realtor® University The Journal of the Center for Real Estate Studies; https://realtoru.edu/real-estate-studies/journal/
 Federal Reserve Board, 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances
 Brad Finkelstein, 7 reasons why consumers are tapping into home equity, The American Banker, June 26, 2018; https://www.americanbanker.com/7-reasons-why-homeowners-are-tapping-into-their-home-equity
 The price appreciation can be thought of as ‘capital gains’ while the principal payments can be thought of as a conversion from liquid asset (cash) to an illiquid asset (house).
 To be clear, these are changes in wealth or home equity between two time period or over n holding periods. If one wants the level of the home equity at a point in time, one has to add the down payment.
 These calculations are illustrative of the magnitude of the housing wealth gains; actual change in home equity will vary by home.
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Nathan represented me buying my very first home. When initially looking for properties, he went above and beyond to provide information on homes that suited my needs and met my budget. Ultimately, Nathan found a property that is PERFECT for me that I may not have otherwise known was on the market. He was kind, honest, patient, and knowledgeable throughout the entire process (despite my endless questions). I could not have asked for more from a realtor and will be recommending friends and family.Heather
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