The Corner

Mortgages

Jonah, On the UK mortgage deduction, if I recall correctly, by the early 1980s (when I bought my flat) it was only available on the first GBP 30,000 of borrowing. This sum was never increased and thus, by the time of the abolition of tax relief in April 2000, it constituted a relatively small proportion of the cost of the average house. By contrast, in the US tax relief is available on 100% of the borrowing incurred to buy the average house. As a result, I don’t think that the UK is much of a precedent. Incidentally, falling house prices in the UK have usually proved politically damaging for whoever was in charge at the time (in part, of course, this will reflect the fact that lower house prices are usually a function of a weak economy), so quite why the GOP would want to risk this is beyond me, unless it is indeed true that Republicans are now set on mining unpopularity wherever they can find it.

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