October 4, 2010
Nation's Building News

The Official Online Newspaper of NAHB

Voters Warn: Don't Mess with the Mortgage Interest Deduction

Americans overwhelmingly oppose any action by Congress to tamper with the mortgage interest deduction, according to a new nationwide survey of likely voters commissioned by NAHB. Nearly 80% support retaining federal tax incentives to promote homeownership, which have been in the tax code since the introduction of federal income taxes in 1913.

"These poll results show strong national voter support for keeping the mortgage interest deduction that cuts across gender, age, partisan, ideological, educational and regional lines," said Neil Newhouse, a partner at Public Opinion Strategies, which conducted the survey. "Clearly, voters have a very strong connection to the home mortgage interest deduction and are not likely to respond well to efforts to reduce or eliminate it. In fact, voters overwhelmingly say they would be less likely to vote for a candidate for Congress who supported either eliminating or reducing the home mortgage interest deduction."

On the issue of tax reform, U.S. voters remain unwavering in their support of the mortgage interest deduction. When asked to rate the importance of preserving tax deductions in the current tax code, an overwhelming share — 81% — said it's important to keep the deduction of mortgage interest on a primary home, ranking it in a virtual tie with medical expenses (82%). In addition, more than three-quarters of respondents (76%) cited the importance of keeping the deduction for state and local taxes, including property taxes. ... Read More

Lumber Prices Provided by Random Lengths
Framing Lumber Composite $ 251 $ 0
OSB Composite $ 208 $ 15
Southern Pine Plywood Composite $ 399 $ 12
With permission from: www.randomlengths.com      
Authors Fight Back Against Detractors of Homeownership

Joining a sizable backlash against recent articles in Time magazine and elsewhere disparaging homeownership and attacking long-standing government policies to help families become home owners, major national news media have been publishing articles arguing in housing’s favor and disputing its critics.

“Since the bursting of the housing bubble, there has been a steady drumbeat from the factories of futurist punditry that the notion of owning a home will, and, more importantly, should become out of reach for most Americans,” Joel Kotkin writes in the Sept. 14 issue of Forbes magazine.

However, he points out in his article, “Why Housing Will Come Back,” home owners and those aspiring to become home owners “now represent the core of our economy without which a strong recovery is likely impossible. Houses remain as a financial bulwark for a large percentage of families, the anchor of communities, and, increasingly, home-based businesses.” ...... Read More

Fall Construction Forecast Webinar on Oct. 27 to Examine Emerging Housing Issues

Register for the upcoming Fall Construction Forecast Conference (CFC) Webinar to hear three distinct perspectives — from the public sector, housing and banking — on emerging issues of the housing industry and its near- and long-term future.

The webinar will be held from 2:00-4:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, Oct. 27.

The two-hour CFC webinar will present the latest economic data and opinion in a streamlined, efficient format that will enable attendees to interact directly with some of the nation’s top economists. ...... Read More

Housing Snapshot
Interest Rates  
30-Yr. Fixed: 4.32% 15-Yr. Fixed: 3.75% 5 Yr. ARM: 3.52%
1 Yr. ARM: 3.48% LIBOR (3 months): 0.29% Prime: 3.25%
Housing Starts*  (August 2010)
Total: 598,000 Single: 438,000 Multi: 160,000
Home Sales*  (August 2010)
New: 288,000 Existing: 4.13 million  
Median Home Prices  (August 2010)
New: $204,700 Existing: $178,600  
* Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate

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