The New Federal Tax Laws, Home Ownership, and the Housing Market in our Area

By badmin January 18, 2018

Since we live in the state with the highest property taxes in the nation, the new tax laws have captured our attention in a big way.  Not only is the deduction of property taxes as well as state and local taxes capped at $10,000, mortgage interest deducibility is capped at $750,000.  If you have had a contract on your home in place prior to Dec.15, 2017 then your mortgage deduction is grandfathered.  While on the surface the $10,000 cap on deductibility of  state, local taxes and property taxes is certainly not a good thing, the adjustment of the tax brackets does in fact help to equalize the change. 

Here is a snapshot of the new brackets if you are Married/Filing Jointly:


$18,650-$75,900: 15% Bracket
$75,900-$153,100: 25% Bracket
$153,100-$233,350: 28% Bracket
$233,350-$416,700: 33% Bracket
$416,700-$470,700: 35% Bracket
$470,000 and up: 39.6% Bracket
$19,050-$77,400:  12% Bracket
$77,400-$165,000:  22% Bracket
$165,000-$315,000:  24% Bracket
$315,000-$400,000:  32% Bracket
$400,000-$600,000:  35% Bracket
$600,000 and up:  37% Bracket

Standard Deductions:  For those who do not itemize, the standard deductions will go up as follows:
Single – from $6,350 to $12,000
Head of Household – from $9,350 to $18,000
Married filing jointly:  from $12,700 to $24,000

Child Tax Credits:  (Age 16 and younger) will go up from $1,000 per child to $2,000 per child  (threshold is $400,000 income for joint returns)

Estate Taxes:
The Individual Exemption  rose from $5.6 million to $11.2 million.
Married Couple Exemption rose from $11.2 million to $22.4 million.

Interest on Home Equity Lines of Credit:
In 2017 were completely deductible; now in 2018 are not deductible at all.

What does this mean for the housing market?
Given that we live in a part of the state that is likened more to NY than to other parts of NJ, we do not expect any big changes.  Certainly homes that have excessive tax bills may struggle a bit more than they otherwise would have but overall what this area offers cannot easily be found elsewhere.  The truth is that property taxes are on the higher side in Westchester, Connecticut and other places that the people from Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens may have considered in their list of places to explore so we do not think our towns will “fall from grace”.

At this exact moment, there are already many buyers out there waiting for the inventory to show up.  Multiple offers are happening as we speak.  As you can see from the chart below, inventory is extremely low.



This is not meant to be personalized tax advice. For personalized tax advice please contact your tax preparer or accountant.


LOCAL MARKET STATISTICS – as of January 14th  … These stats are for single family homes that do not have offers at this moment:

 Active  NOW
(active as of 12/17)
Under Contract (since 12/15)
Maplewood 22 (23) 15
South Orange 27 (26) 12
West Orange 95 (101) 29
Montclair 28 (32) 15
Millburn/Short Hills 68 (70) 8
Summit 64 (56) 6
Orange 32 (32) 8
Bloomfield 39 (41) 20
Union 138 (140) 47