MReport September 2018

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TH E M R EP O RT | 69 O R I G I NAT I O N S E R V I C I N G DATA G O V E R N M E N T S E C O N DA R Y M A R K E T THE LATEST DATA What are Borrowers Using Home-Equity Loans For? Uses for home-equity loans run the gamut from home improvement to emergency expenses. F rom home improvements to using home equity for emergency funds, borrow- ers are using their housing wealth to extract cash for other expenses, according to a study by LendingTree. The study assessed home-equity loan requests since the start of 2018 to reveal the primary reasons borrowers are utilizing funds and comparing data across cities to find regional biases in how these loans are used. The study found that the most common use of this type of loan was for home-improvement projects, with 43 percent of applications studied by LendingTree applying for the loan for this purpose. It also revealed that real estate investors borrowed the most. "Borrowers who were looking to invest in another property had the highest prop - erty values and loan amount requested," LendingTree said. On average, these borrow - ers requested $103,625 in loans for property investments. For nonproperty investments, borrowers typically requested a loan against their home for an average of $80,241, the study indicated. Emergency expenses also found a place among home- equity loans, though this group had the "lowest amount requested of $35,747 and also kept their loan- to-value (LTV) low at 51 percent," LendingTree said. Speaking of LTVs, borrowers who took these loans to consoli - date their debt had the highest LTV of 74 percent, the study found. Additionally, just over 1 percent of home-equity loan re - quests were slotted to fund retire- ment and were typically made by those over the age of 63 years. Cleveland, Kansas City, and Boston were the top three cities where borrowers took out home- equity loans towards home- improvement projects. On the other hand, Raleigh, Minneapolis, and Las Vegas ranked high among home-equity loans requested for debt consolidation. Not surpris - ingly, San Jose, Miami, and Austin were the top three cities for using home equity for investment purposes. San Jose also was the top city for home-equity loans to buy an investment property, along with Raleigh and Miami. While borrowers in St Louis, San Francisco, and Columbus mostly used loans against their home to fund emergency expenses, those in Cape Coral and Daytona Beach, Florida, and Charleston, South Carolina, used home equity to fund their retirement. Homebuilder Confidence Slips Over Tariff Concerns Economic expansion, more job creation, and demand should support construction. B uilder confidence for newly built single-family homes fell two points in June to 68, over rising con - cern about tariffs on construction materials, according to the latest data from the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) re - leased by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). According to the NAHB, rising costs of imported lumber from Canada, as well as increasing raw- material tariffs for construction were some of the key factors im - pacting builder confidence in June. The HMI is derived from a monthly NAHB survey that gauges builder perceptions of cur - rent single-family home sales and sales expectations over the next six months. The survey also asks builders to rate prospective buyers. The scores for each of these com - ponents is then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good rather than poor. Despite the rising tariffs and lumber prices which have "added nearly $9,000 to the price of a new single-family home since January 2017" according to NAHB Chairman Randy Noel, builders remain confident about the housing market and buyer prospects according to the survey. "Builders are optimistic about housing-market conditions as consumer demand continues to grow," Noel said. All three HMI indexes—builder perceptions of home sales, sales expectations over the next six months, and prospective buyer traf - fic—were down in June, the survey revealed. While the index measur- ing current sales conditions fell to 75, the one gauging expectations in the next six months dropped to 76. The index measuring buyer traffic was down to 50 in June. However, NAHB said addition - al single-family construction will continue at a quick clip despite these headwinds and reduced confidence. "Improved economic growth, continued job creation, and solid housing demand should spur ad - ditional single-family construction in the months ahead," said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. "However, builders do need access to lumber and other construction materials at reasonable costs in order to provide homes at com - petitive price points, particularly for the entry-level market where inventory is most needed." Regionally, the Southern region piggybacked overall builder confidence and fell one point to 71, while the West and Midwest remained unchanged at 76 and 65, respectively. The Northeast was the only region to show an in - crease on the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, rising two points to 57. The American Dream is evolving, with young adults having slightly different preferences such as renting, living in a townhome, urban communities, and good access to public transit. Congratulations to Trina Scott on being a "Diversity & Inclusion" Keystone Award finalist. You continue to lead as an advocate for our team members, clients, and community. Your dedication is endless and we are proud to have you as a member of the Quicken Loans Family of Companies.

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