Tax Law changes and affect for 2018

December 24, 2017

How the Newly Passed Tax Law 
Affects the Housing Market

President Trump today signed the Republican-led tax reform bill into law. Called the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" and passed by the U.S. Senate and House on December 20, the legislation will nearly double the standard deduction for individuals to $12,000 and married couples to $24,000 in the 2018 tax year. Here are ways the new law will affect current homeowners and those who are looking to buy or sell a home:

  • Mortgage interest deduction. Limits this popular deduction to $750,000 in mortgage debt for buyers who purchase a home on or after December 15, 2017. Those who purchased a home prior to this date can continue to deduct up to $1 million in mortgage debt. In 2026, this provision will revert to the current law regardless of when the home was purchased.
  • State and local property taxes. Limits this deduction to a combined $10,000. Homeowners in areas with higher home costs and property taxes may see an increase in their tax bills in the new year.
  • Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) interest deduction. Paid interest will no longer be deductible after December 31, 2017. This provision ends in 2026 and reverts to the current law, which allows an interest deduction up to $100,000 in HELOC debt.  
  • Capital gains exclusion. Home sellers can continue to exclude up to $500,000 (joint filers) or $250,000 (single filers) for capital gains when selling a primary home, provided the owner has lived in the residence for at least two of the past five years.
  • Estate tax. Doubles the amount that can be left to your heirs tax free to $11.2 million per person and $22.4 million for married couples.
  • Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) Program. Currently suspended but valid for loans that close by December 29, 2017, the MCC program may be reinstated in 2018. Be on the lookout for future updates. MCC offers eligible borrowers a federal tax credit and deduction on paid mortgage interest.      



Conforming Loan Limits Rising in 2018

For the second year in a row, maximum conforming loan limits for conventional mortgages to be acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be increasing in 2018, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency. In Hawaii and other high-cost areas, conforming loan limits will rise to $679,650 from $636,150 for one-unit properties effective January 1, 2018. In most of the country, the 2018 maximum loan limit for one-unit properties will be $453,100 from $424,100. Conforming loan limits also apply to government loans, including VA and FHA. 


2018 Conforming Loan Limits


Conforming Limit

High Balance Limit




Hawaii County













Click here to view a complete list. 

Benefits of Higher Conforming Loan Limits

  • Increased purchasing power. Allows first-time and repeat buyers to borrow larger amounts.
  • Better rates and terms. Conforming loans have lower down payment, more competitive interest rates, and less stringent underwriting standards compared to non-conforming (jumbo) loans.
  • More affordability. Reduces the need for non-conforming mortgages, which have higher interest rates and monthly payments.

From: Tony Cadiz NMLS #653663 Branch Manager Cell: 808-268-3399 eFax: 808-675-5491