Days after passing the massive $1 trillion infrastructure package, the Senate has turned its sights to a $3.5 trillion measure that focuses extensively on housing and zoning policy investments. If you're thinking about selling your home, here's how these two bills could impact the market, your property, and your profit potential.
Understanding the Infrastructure Bill
Out of the $1 trillion in the infrastructure bill, some $550 billion is being assigned to bridges, roads, high-speed internet, and other improvement projects across the country. Many more billions are going toward public transit, but that's not the biggest concern to today's homeowners and sellers.
Preserving and Expanding Affordable Housing
If you're in the position to sell your house in the next year or two, the $3.5 trillion plan the Senate is considering should be your real point of focus. If this plan is approved, it will allow up to $332 billion for investments in housing and related projects.
This plan could also fund the $213 billion plan to build and preserve more than two million affordable housing units across the country.
Incentivizing Cities and States
Also in the infrastructure plan are proposals to expand the Section 8 housing vouchers and provide more incentives to cities and states to eliminate "exclusionary" zoning. Both of these are part of the effort to aid the housing crisis, but neither is part of the infrastructure bill—yet.
The Associated General Contractors of America is just one of many organizations urging the house to pass these resolutions. They're also just one of many that would benefit from the approval.
Changing Policies and Opening Doors
The New York Housing Conference also spoke on the matter, advocating a change to the "50 percent test," which currently requires a development to receive at least half of its funds from private activity bonds to receive Low Income Housing Tax Credits.
Since the federal government gaps those private activity bonds, the state of New York can only issue so many, limiting affordable housing construction. The group estimates that cutting the 50% rule in half to just 25% would allow up to 10,000 more affordable housing units to be constructed each year throughout the state.
How Are Homeowners Impacted?
There are dozens of ways, both directly and indirectly, that homeowners can expect to be impacted by this massive infrastructure bill. First and foremost, agents and property owners should look on the bright side: Even the smallest towns in America are expected to see an impact from the influx in funding, giving way to everything from simple highway improvements to so much more.
The Impact Won't Be Instant
Home sellers with their property already on the market shouldn't expect to see a change in the short term. However, homeowners planning to list their houses in the next one to three years will definitely feel the impact as the surrounding community expands and improves.
Without a doubt, most communities will see an increase in affordable housing units, including apartment complexes and small developments, over the next few years. This can impact housing values by simply increasing supply, but the exact impact is yet to be seen and can really only be calculated when the time comes.
Without a crystal ball, any expert would be hard-pressed to pull a number out of their hat. Aside from supply increases, demand will be impacted as interest rates, the national economy, and local job availability change with time.
Focus on Community Outlook
If you are a homeowner concerned about the market's direction, or perhaps a buyer wondering how this bill could affect availability or pricing in the area, don't sweat it. In truth, the infrastructure bill is unlikely to have a direct nor immediate impact on any single homeowner.
After all, this package targets developers, investors, and municipalities—homeowners won't even begin to see impacts until these parties go through the process of advocating for policy changes, enacting new laws (zoning laws, for example), and actually receiving funding for projects like affordable housing construction.
So, while the impact on the housing market won't be seen for some time, you can get ahead of the curve by considering the overall community outlook. Stay abreast of the projects your city, county, and state are pursuing.