The Maryland Center for Economics and Policy recently held its launch event, a panel on the Future of Housing Market Policy. The three panelists shared their considerable expertise with an audience of area real estate professionals as well as University of Maryland alumni, students, and faculty.
Picking out a few of the many high points of the discussion, Edward DeMarco spoke eloquently about the goals of housing market policy and Phillip Swagel outlined a possible approach to shifting mortgage market risk away from taxpayers towards private investors. The panel also discussed the mortgage interest deduction, which DeMarco described as a poorly targeted tool for encouraging home ownership. Swagel suggested that, while policy makers may not have an appetite for elimination of the mortgage interest deduction, they could consider limiting the deduction to primary residences. Responding to DeMarco and Swagel, Lawrence Yun noted that many households have made home purchase decisions based on mortgage interest being deductible and made a cogent argument that abrupt changes to the deduction could have undesirable consequences.
Click here to view the photo gallery of the launch event.