In the mid-1990s I wrote an opinion column arguing against the tax deduction for mortgage interest. One of the arguments I made was that the percentage of homeowners was only one or two points higher in the United States than in Canada, which doesn’t have the deduction.
The best information I have now is that those rates are exactly the same: 65 percent of households in either country are owners. The U.S. figure is current, and is from the Census Bureau. The Canadian figure is from 2008, and is from Statistics Canada.
Canada is on the verge of coming out with new housing statistics, so the 65 percent figure may change a bit. But the share of people owning houses (or condos) in the two countries has been almost the same for decades, which suggests that the U.S. income-tax deduction has little effect on the rate of homeownership.
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