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Proposed tax plan could lead to housing recession, says home builders association CEO

  • The tax plan unveiled today by Republicans in the House of Representatives could lead to a housing recession, according to National Association of Home Builders CEO Jerry Howard.
  • Howard said his members were "irate" about a proposed plan to slice the mortgage interest deduction in half, to a maximum of $500,000.

The tax plan unveiled today by Republicans in the House of Representatives could lead to a housing recession, according to National Association of Home Builders CEO Jerry Howard.

Howard said his members were "irate" about a proposed plan to slice the mortgage interest deduction in half, to a maximum of $500,000.

"There are seven million homes on the market right now that are more than $500,000. Those houses are automatically going to be devalued," he said. "What we've seen is that when house values start to go down, it spreads to the next market after that, and another market, and the next thing you know you have a housing recession."

Howard was speaking on CNBC's Power Lunch.

Stocks of the major homebuilders were falling Thursday after the tax plan was announced. Toll Brothers, a Horsham, Pennsylvania-based luxury homebuilder was hit hardest, falling more than 6 percent. Lennar and KB Home were each down more than three percent Thursday.

Fort Worth, Texas-based D.R. Horton, America's largest homebuilder by the number of houses sold, was down less than one percent on the news.

The GOP tax plan also nearly doubles the standard deduction, meaning fewer taxpayers would itemize and take the mortgage interest deduction. Currently, about 21 percent of filers take the mortgage deduction, but under the new framework, only about 4 percent would, according to recent estimates from the Tax Policy Center.