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US real estate players are unfazed by changes to the tax law

Kris Paolini, a Redfin agent in Bethesda, Maryland, says some buyers “are trying to use taxes and the predictions that prices will fall as a negotiating point, but sellers aren’t buying it.” Bottom line: The post-tax-bill real estate scene is still ...

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By Kenneth Harney | February 09, 2018 10:00AM You might recall the scary predictions from the realty industry and some independent economists that began last fall: Cutting tax benefits for homeowners would inevitably lead to declines of 4 to 10 percent in home prices, and maybe even more for upper-bracket properties in high-tax areas. So how are those dire warnings holding up? It’s still early in the game for hard statistical answersBut it’s not too early to gather anecdotal evidence on whether buyers — citing higher tax burdens — are pushing asking prices downward, or whether sellers are caving or resisting. To get answers, I contacted realty agents and economists who keep a close eye on consumer behavior in markets around the countryThe consensus was summed up best by Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist of Trulia, a San Francisco company that tracks prices and local market trends in hundreds of communitiesPrice declines are nowhere in sight yet and cannot be totally ruled out, he said, but “we think the potential negative impacts (of the tax bill) will be muted by the likely fact that most households will actually have more money in their bank accounts at the end of the year because of the tax plan.”

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