Housing: Time to Halt Taxpayer Subsidies

Even with the housing market declining, it's bad policy to give homes preferential tax treatment over stocks and other investments

Homeownership has long been a vibrant part of achieving the American Dream. But these days owning a home is more like starring in a horror flick, perhaps called Nightmare on Main Street. The numbers are frightening. Home prices are falling nationwide, and the foreclosure rate is at record levels. The delinquency rate for subprime adjustable rate mortgages is an astonishing 20%, and the Federal Reserve's home equity measure is at its lowest level in 60 years. Indeed, Moody's Economy.com estimates that more than 10% of the nation's homeowners were "upside down" on their mortgages by the end of March. In other words, the value of their mortgage is greater than what their home is worth.

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