By George DeMare, Vice President Business Development
Lack of inventory continues to affect the “for sale” housing market in big ways. Many homeowners are looking at staying put and improving their homes instead of moving.
An analysis of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HDMA) data from 2017 of 7.3 million loans helped rank U.S. cities by the volume of home improvement loans. These lines of credit are typically home equity lines of credit but can also be installment loans for home improvements. The data also determined median loan amounts to gauge where buyers are putting the most money into their homes.
To put things into perspective, existing home sales in 2017 were just 4 percent of the housing stock. Home improvement loans in 2017 were taken out on 1 percent of homes.
This number may seem low, but home improvements can also be funded by savings, credit cards, and other types of mortgage loans like cash-out refinances.
Here are U.S. cities with the highest and lowest rates of home improvement loan usage:
- Oklahoma City has the highest rate of using home improvement loans. 0.77 percent of homes had a loan originated in 2017 with the median loan amount at $15,000. The city is rapidly growing and spread out- giving homeowners room to grow.
- San Jose is second highest. Known for expensive home prices and a super tight housing inventory, homeowners who have built up equity seem to be remodeling with tech updates and/or other amenities to their homes. The average median loan amount was around $374,000.
- New York has the lowest rate of home improvement utilization. The city has a low share of single-family homes as most New Yorkers live in multi-family housing or have homes with little space to expand. The average median loan amount in New York was $60,000.
- Miami and Houston are also in the bottom three. Both cities were severely affected by hurricanes in late 2017. Continued recovery from hurricane damage might boost home improvement activity in 2018 for these areas. The average loan amount for both cities was between $47,000 and $50,000.