The United for Homes campaign proposes reducing the size of a mortgage eligible for a tax break from $1 million to $500,000, and converting the deduction to a 15% non-refundable credit. NLIHC has released county-level maps of the percentage of mortgages over $500,000 from 2009 to 2012 for every state and the District of Columbia.
Less than 4% of mortgages in the United States were over $500,000 for those three years. For 24 states, the percentage of mortgages over $500,000 was less than 1%; North Dakota had the smallest percentage at 0.1%. County-level analysis shows that less than 3% of mortgages were over $500,000 in over 95% of U.S. counties, and in 90% of these counties only 1% of mortgages were over $500,000.
NLIHC analyzed Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data from 2009 to 2012. The county-level analysis covers both government-insured and conventional loans for home purchase or refinancing and is restricted to owner-occupied properties that are one-to-four family or manufactured housing secured with a first lien.
United for Homes is the campaign to fund the National Housing Trust Fund through modifications to the mortgage interest deduction. The maps reveal how small a share of mortgages would be affected by the United for Homes proposal. It is important to note that people who borrow more than $500,000 to buy homes will still get a tax break on the first $500,000 they borrow.
Meanwhile, by no longer limiting the tax break to homeowners with enough income to itemize their tax returns, the United for Homes proposal would provide 16 million more homeowners with mortgages a tax break, 99% who have incomes under $100,000.
The United for Homes proposal would also create revenue that could finally fund the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF). Once funded, the NHTF would expand the supply of rental housing affordable and available to the lowest income households, of which there is a shortage of 7.1 million units.