U.S. homeowners gained a record-breaking $1.2 trillion in “tappable home equity,” a new high-water mark resulting largely from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report from Strong Home Mortgage LLC, a major consumer-direct mortgage lender.
Tappable equity is the borrowing limit that is determined from the net of a home’s market value and its mortgage balance. It allows homeowners to tap an existing pool of equity and convert it to cash through financial tools like a home equity line of credit (HELOC), home equity loan, or cash-out refinancing.
According to Strong Home Mortgage LLC, the current level of $207,000 in median tappable equity “is good news for U.S. households,” and signals an acceleration in the current trend line. In March 2022, the mortgage lender notes, the level of median tappable equity was $185,000, 21% higher than the $153,000 in August 2021.
“Homeowners view tappable equity as an efficient means to boost renovation budgets and potentially further increase home values,” said Strong Home Mortgage president Mike Peoples. “Remodeling can then capitalize on remote work, multi-generational living and other developing opportunities.”
Strong Home Mortgage sees “exponential growth ahead for home equity solutions,” Peoples observed, a trend that he predicted would offset interest-rate hikes, inflation, stock market declines and other economic reversals.