The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) held its Midyear Meeting this week in Miami, and its board of directors received an overview of the things a Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton presidency would do for the industry if they became president of the United States in November.
Republican candidate Donald Trump appeared in person to address the board, and Gene Sperling, a top economic advisor to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, provided the Democrat’s view. Following each presentation, NAHB issued a media release with that candidate’s key points.
“For Hillary Clinton, growing middle-class jobs and middle-income security is the single lens in which she will judge economic policy,” Sperling said to NAHB’s board of directors. “What better helps the middle class than housing? Housing creates jobs in the United States. There is probably no other sector that creates jobs throughout income levels – from construction jobs to professional and servicing jobs.”
Sperling noted that the credit pendulum has swung too tight in the aftermath of the Great Recession, citing an Urban Institute study that compared credit availability during the pre-crisis levels to the standards of today, with 5 million fewer home loans issued today as a result of tight lending standards.
“Our challenge now is to never swing back to where we were, but to get to an equilibrium where people who are creditworthy can get the housing they need,” said Sperling. “This will lead to increased housing starts, construction and affordable housing, which we need in this country.”
Sperling admitted that the issue of housing finance reform is “really tough,” but stipulated that a government backstop is essential.
“You need a backstop to ensure the United States of America still has a 30-year fixed mortgage,” said Sperling. “That is something that gives people the opportunity to become homeowners in this country.”
If Clinton is elected president, Sperling said she would:
Defend and expand the Low Income Housing Tax Credit
Encourage communities to implement land use strategies that make it easier to build affordable rental housing near good jobs by increasing funding for infrastructure banks and competitive grant programs
Support common sense relief for community banks and make sure that any reforms level the playing field so that Wall Street banks do not have any advantages over community lenders
Focus on a major infrastructure plan in which “she sees construction and housing as part of that larger infrastructure”
Regarding the mortgage interest deduction, Sperling said that Clinton’s tax plan would retain the mortgage interest deduction but cap the marginal rate at which households can take their deductions at 28 percent. “So for 98 percent of Americans, the mortgage interest deduction is completely untouched,” said Sperling.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump vowed to cut regulations that are hurting the housing and economic recovery. Trump said that overregulation costs the economy $2 trillion per year.
“No one other than the energy industry is regulated more than the home building industry,” said Trump. “Twenty-five percent of the cost of a home is due to regulation. I think we should get that down to about 2 percent.”
Laying out his plan to create more jobs, lower taxes and reduce burdensome regulations, Trump said: “We will impose a temporary moratorium order on new agency regulations. We’ll cancel all illegal and overreaching executive orders signed by President Obama. We will eliminate all regulations that kill jobs. We will remove the bureaucrats that only know how to kill jobs and replace them with experts who know how to create jobs without regulations.”
As part of his program to spur job and economic growth, Trump promised a major tax simplification plan to reduce the tax code to three brackets and ensure that all small businesses will be taxed at no more than 15 percent.
“Everyone’s taxes will go down under my plan,” said Trump.
Additionally, Trump said he would end corporate inversions and repeal the estate tax, commonly referred to as the death tax.
“I know so many families that have been destroyed by the death tax,” he said. “They end up losing their business or have to sell their business. Farmers are hit hard; housing companies are hit hard.”
Noting that his father was a homebuilder, Trump expressed a deep affinity for the industry. “A homebuilder taught me everything I know,” he said. “There is no greater thing you can do. If you can build a home, you can build anything.”
News Source: floridarealtors.org.