Robert J. Shiller, Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale University, provides an update on what people think the trends in housing will be in the months to come. He and Karl Case of Wellesley College have conducted their annual questionnaire survey of recent home buyers in the Los Angeles, San Francisco, Milwaukee, and Boston metro areas since 2003. Each year, their survey has asked the question: “On average over the next 10 years, how much do you expect the value of your property to change each year?” In the boom year of 2004, the average answer was a gain of 12.6 percent. In succeeding years, though, the figure started to decline, reaching its lowest point in 2012 at 4 percent before climbing to 4.2 percent in 2013 and 5.5 percent as of this summer. “At the moment,” Shiller writes, “there is no evidence of extravagant bubble thinking.” He goes on to note that one wild card in housing prices is the future of the mortgage interest tax deduction. This deduction is beloved by many taxpayers, but it may not last. If it doesn’t, short-term trends could be negatively impacted. For those thinking for the long term, the fate of the tax deduction should not be a pressing worry. With mortgage rates under 4 percent and with the median U.S. home price less than $200,000, RealtyTrac reports, the typical mortgage interest deduction is well under $8,000 a year — significantly less than the 2015 standard income tax deduction of $12,600 for a married couple. | Read More