How Fiscal Cliff will Affect the Real Estate Industry

real estate in washington dc affected by fiscal cliffWith only three hours to spare before the midnight deadline on January 1, the Senate avoided the Fiscal Cliff by agreeing to a deal. Technically, the government went over the cliff, since the Senate’s version didn’t formally pass until two hours after the deadline, and the House of Representatives didn’t approve the deal until close to 24 hours later. However the changes noted in the deal, also known as H.R. 8, will be retroactive as of January 1.

Here are a few of the provisions in the Fiscal Cliff Bill that affect the real estate and mortgage industries:Here are a few of the provisions in the Fiscal Cliff Bill that affect the real estate and mortgage industries:

  • Filers making below $110,000 can still deduct mortgage insurance premiums through 2013–and this was made retroactive to cover 2012.
  • Mortgage cancellation relief–which is for home owners or sellers who have some amount of their mortgage debt (on their primary residence) forgiven by their lender in a situation such as a short sale, foreclosure or modification–was extended for one year to January 1, 2014.
  • The 10% tax credit (limited to $500) for homeowners for energy improvements (energy efficiency tax credit) to existing homes is extended through 2013 and made retroactive to cover 2012.
  • The rate for Capital Gains will remain at 15% for individuals at the top rate of $400,000 and $450,000 for a joint return. Gains over and above these amounts will be subject to a 20% tax. Remaining in place is the $250/500K exclusion for the sale of a principal residence.
  • Individual estates will have the first $5 million dollars exempted and family estates will have $10 million exempted.
  • Qualified leasehold improvements on commercial properties have been extended through 2013 and retroactive to cover 2012 and are subject to a 15 year straight-line cost recovery.