We won’t know the final specifics on the GOP proposed tax plan until after the Senate and House merge their respective versions together and vote but…we do have many opinions about how that plan may affect the housing industry.
Here are just a few of these opinions in favor of a strong housing market in light of the GOP proposed tax plan.
Neil Dutta of Bloomberg News expects the housing market to make a “comeback” in 2018. Comeback, you ask? Yes, comeback.
Though real estate investment has been expanding since 2011, Dutta says that recent growth has been sluggish at 1.1% in 2016-17, compared to 7% in 2014-15. His reasons for comeback predictions are based upon
– strong consumer attitudes that support demand
– generally good economic conditions and respondents to a latest University of Michigan survey saying that these are “prosperous times”
– consumers saying that “prices won’t come down”
– consumers saying that buying a house is “a good investment”
Dutta also points to the fact that as of Q3 2017, real estate investment measured 3.8% of the GDP as compared to the 1980’s and 1990’s when residential investment clocked in at 4.4% of GDP. Just these comparative figures alone point to Dutta’s statement, “there is ample room in the housing recovery.”
Dutta’s only caveats relate to the home construction business…worker shortage and productivity. He thinks that shortages will resolve as wages increase in the industry but he believes that productivity must increase in order to build more new homes more quickly. Dutta indicates that historically, there were four workers per house; today, there are six workers per house.
Robert Shiller, co-creator of the S&P Case Shiller Home Price Index, Nobel laureate and Yale economist professor stands with Dutta but with entirely different reasoning.
Shiller said on CNC that, “The general idea is (the GOP tax proposal) would push prices down if people are rational…but they are not rational when it comes to housing.”
Yes, according to Shiller, the GOP proposed tax plan would be “a big deal to rich people” because of the changes proposed relating to deductions and property taxes. But, he said, “I tend to think it’s not as great as you imagine it to be. People are people and I don’t find that historically, home prices have relied at all predictably to changes…people keep buying houses.”
Home Depot’s CEO, Craig Menear, also thinks that fears concerning the GOP proposed tax plan are “overblown.” “Only about 20% of Americans deduct mortgage interest and the numbers show less than 5% of folks have homes valued at greater than $500,000.”
Certainly, Home Depot is banking on positive things coming to its business (+35% this year) due to the proposed tax plan. It has announced that it anticipates growth between 4.5-6% and +$115-$120B over the next 5 years. Certainly, longer stays and remodeling trends in housing has helped and will likely continue to help Home Depot’s bottom line.