With mortgage rates as low as they have been for the past eight years, payments have been lower and so has the amount interest that was paid. This and the fact that sales and local taxes, which include property taxes, are limited to $10,000 a year on the Itemized Deduction form have made it harder to reach the increased standard deduction.
The reality of the situation is tax benefits are only one of the components that make a home an excellent investment and it probably contributes the least of the top three benefits. Principal reduction and appreciation build an owner's equity in an automatic way that is like a forced savings account.
In today's market, it is common for the total house payment to be lower than the rent a first-time home buyer is currently paying. As a homeowner, the buyer would have additional expenses like maintenance and possibly, a HOA.
To illustrate the net effect, let's look at a purchase price of $275,000 with 3.5% down payment on a 4.75% 30-year FHA loan. We'll assume the home appreciates at 3% annually and the buyer is currently paying $2,000 a month rent.
In seven-years, the $9,625 down payment would grow to over $58,000 in equity. The equity build-up far exceeds the tax benefits which some people would have as an additional incentive. Use this Rent vs. Own to see what the net cost of housing would be using a home in your price range or call me at and I'll do it for you.