Markets & EconomyNews Brief

Does homeownership pay during tax time?

Depending on your gender, race and class, it may not
  • Just in time for the tax deadline, Trulia released a study about low homeownership rates among women and minorities and how that keeps them from reaping the benefits of the mortgage interest tax deduction.
  • According to the study, women and minorities are unable to take advantage of the MITD because of various factors such as a lack of generational wealth and lower pay rates.
  • Another study by John Burns Real Estate Consulting examined homeowner tax deductions as a whole and concluded that homeowners, in general, haven't reaped the full benefits of homeownership since 2008 due to falling interest rates and home prices.

Yesterday, Trulia released a study that highlights the gap in homeownership rates for women and minorities. According to the study, women and minorities who identify as the head of their household still aren't borrowing to buy homes at the same rate of men and whites, even with the same income. Since they aren't able to secure loans, not only are they only locked out of becoming homeowners, they are locked out of receiving some of the benefits of owning a home  -- namely the mortgage interest tax deduction (MITD). Trulia notes that in 2013, homeowner taxpayers received $80 billion as a result of MITD. So what's the issue? The MITD tends to benefit higher income households, since those households are better able to afford homes and itemize deductions, the study said. Twelve percent of tax filers with an adjusted gross income of $50,000 itemized their deductions compared to 94 percent of tax filers with an AGI of $200,000 or more. Since women and minorities are more lik...