CHERRY HILL, N.J., November 16, 2023 – A recent survey from TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank® found that more than one third (38%) of homeowners who are renovating in the next two years are using or plan to use a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or home equity loan (HE Loan) to finance their renovations. But it appears for some, that investment may be in preparation to later sell their homes.
TD Bank’s HELOC Trend Watch is a national survey of more than 1,800 adult homeowners who purchased a home within the past 10 years using a mortgage loan and currently own their homes. The survey examines trends surrounding home equity usage.
A Healthy Dose of Optimism
As potential homebuyers continue to navigate higher interest rates and lower inventory, current homeowners are optimistic about the equity building in their homes. Eighty-three percent of respondents believe their home equity has increased within the last year, with 57% of those who know their home equity estimating they have $100,000 or more. A recent Black Knight report shared the average homeowner has $199,000 in home equity as of June – up $14,000 from Q1 of 2023.
Considering those positive sentiments and current market conditions, 57% of respondents who previously or never had a HELOC or HE Loan said they are likely to apply for one in the next 18 months, up 9% from 2022.
“Home equity continues to be one of the more affordable ways that current homeowners can access funds to improve the condition of their home and increase its value,” said Jon Giles, Head of Real Estate Secured Lending Strategy & Support at TD Bank. “What's most important is to borrow responsibly – for things like renovations, education costs, large home purchases or debt consolidation – ensuring the money is used to benefit a homeowner's overall financial position."
Renovations Drive HELOC and HE Loan Interest
Renovations continue to be one of the most common uses for HELOCs and HE Loans. In fact, over two-thirds (69%) of homeowners are currently renovating or plan to renovate their home in the next two years. Respondents also revealed the main reasons for renovating are cosmetic (43%), improving the quality of their outdoor space (43%), making the home more ecofriendly (29%), and because the house is lacking key features (28%). The kitchen (54%) and bathroom (54%) still reign supreme as the top two rooms homeowners will renovate, followed by the living room (38%).
As low housing inventory continues to dampen homebuyer expectations, the survey hints at a bit of positive news, albeit in the distant future. Eleven percent of renovators are taking on projects with the intent to sell, and 33% plan on moving out within five years. Additionally, 36% of all homeowners are planning to sell their home within the next two years.
In addition to potential buyers, the survey highlights a bright spot for industry professionals, as 76% of renovators said they will hire professionals to help complete their projects.
Debt Consolidation Top-of-Mind with Homeowners, Yet to Act
Excluding a mortgage, 90% of those surveyed have debt - with over half (55%) having $10,000 or more. This includes credit card debt (67%), car loans (44%), personal loans (31%), student loans (25%) and medical debt (22%), with 59% perceiving their current interest rates as being too high.
As respondents consider how to pay off their loans most effectively, one option is debt consolidation. However, data indicates that there is an activation gap between intention and action. While 93% of survey respondents with debt other than their mortgage have not yet consolidated their debt under one loan at a lower interest rate, 71% said they would be interested in doing so – up 6% from 2022.
“Debt consolidation is a particularly attractive option in a higher interest rate environment, but it is a big step to consider since you are leveraging your home as collateral when you tap into your equity,” said Giles. “When used responsibly, consolidation products like HELOCs and HE Loans can help assist in paying down higher interest debt and create more manageable payments. But speaking with a lender is a good way for a borrower to make an informed decision."
Among respondents who are interested in consolidating their debt but are not comfortable using their home as collateral, preferred methods of debt consolidation include personal loans (39%), balance transfer credit cards (28%), cash out refinance (23%) and retirement account loans (6%).
This online CARAVAN survey was conducted by Big Village among a sample of 1,810 U.S. adults ages 18+ who currently own their home, last purchased a home within the past 10 years, and acquired a mortgage when they purchased their most recent home. This survey was live on September 28-October 8, 2023.
About Big Village
Big Village Insights is a global research and analytics business uncovering not just the ‘what’ but the ‘why’ behind customer behavior, supporting clients’ insights needs with agile tools, CX research, branding, product innovation, data & analytics, and more. Big Village Insights is part of Bright Mountain Media. Find out more at https://big-village.com/.
About TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®
TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is one of the largest banks in the U.S., providing over 10.0 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at more than 1,100 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Auto Finance, a division of TD Bank, N.A., offers vehicle financing and dealer commercial services. TD Bank and its subsidiaries also offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit www.td.com/us. Find TD Bank on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TDBank and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TDBank_US and www.twitter.com/TDNews_US.
TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol "TD". To learn more, visit www.td.com/us.
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