|US dollar index||87.6||-0.2|
|10 Year Govt Bond Yield||1.72%|
|Current Coupon Fannie Mae TBA||103.3|
|Current Coupon Ginnie Mae TBA||104.2|
|30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage||3.54|
Bonds are closed today, but overseas bond markets are weaker. Stocks are up.
No economic data today. The week after the jobs report is typically data light to begin with, and there really isn’t anything market-moving this week, except for may the PPI on Friday.
Dave Stevens of the MBA raised the issue of eliminating the mortgage interest deduction, albeit with the caveat that it be done in the context of tax reform, with lowering rates and eliminating deductions. He wasn’t advocating eliminating it in a vacuum.
If Donald Trump wins, tax reform is a definite possibility. If Hillary wins, will she be more like her husband, willing to deal with Republicans to get something done, or will she be more like Obama, where both sides had hardened positions? If you were going to eliminate the mortgage interest deduction, it will certainly make housing less affordable and would have a dampening effect on home price appreciation. That said, with rates as low as they are, interest payments as a percentage of your mortgage payment are at all-time lows. So if you wanted to eliminate it at the time when it causes the least amount of pain, now is the time to do it.
Republicans will never support eliminating deductions without cutting rates, and the historical bargain between right and left (Democrats trading increased taxes and spending for increased defense spending) might not work this time around. Believing in that trade was what got us the sequester, where Obama found his bluff called, as Republicans tolerated lower defense spending in exchange for lower discretionary spending. Given the general war fatigue of the American voter, Republicans are probably not going to be willing to trade increases in defense spending for more social spending, and certainly not for tax increases.
Punch line: the mortgage interest deduction probably isn’t going anywhere.
That said, the US subsidizes the residential real estate market six ways to Sunday, with the mortgage interest deduction, the 30 year fixed rate mortgage (try finding that anywhere else on the planet), taxpayer backing of almost all new origination, and the cornucopia of subsidies for affordable housing. Not to mention the central bank targeting of mortgage rates and real estate prices. And the powers that be still scratch their heads wondering why we had a real estate bubble…
Mortgage credit availability improved in September, according to the MBA.