The latest Black Knight Mortgage Monitor report says tappable home equity shot up to an all-time high of $5.5 trillion in Q3 of 2017. Black Knight, a mortgage data and analytics firm, defines tappable equity as the amount homeowners can borrow before they reach the maximum 80% of a home’s value. Significantly, this number is up $3 trillion from its 2012 bottom. The firm also reports that four out of five mortgage holders now have equity they can tap into through either HELOCs or cash-out refinances.
Mortgage applications for those refinances kicked up 11% from two weeks ago, according to the latest Mortgage Bankers Association Applications Survey, with the Purchase Index up a healthy 5%. Realtor.com‘s 2018 housing forecast for builders advises them to take advantage of strong buyer demand, greater millennial involvement and healthier wage growth, and boost entry-level home construction. Most American workers will soon see bigger paychecks, as employers must implement new withholding amounts dictated by the tax cuts by February 15.
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