In a large majority of European countries, a tax relief on mortgage interest payments is granted in order to enhance homeownership. Although there is a common belief stating that a mortgage interest deduction (MID) is capitalized into house prices, empirical evidence remains scarce. Therefore, our paper is about the influence of this fiscal relief on house prices. The scope of our analysis includes fourteen European countries, for which an unbalanced panel dataset over the period 1990–2015 is constructed. All our regression results support the hypothesis that a MID has had a significant price-increasing effect in the selected countries over the observed period. However, this result does not hold for a MID in the countries where a dual income tax (DIT) is applied, suggesting a significant difference between tax systems. These results are relevant for governments because there has been much debate about whether and to what extent countries should limit its MID over the last decades.
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