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Despite low buyer demand, home prices remain steep throughout the U.S. Owing to this, many homeowners have seen the amount of equity they’ve built into their houses increase.

When a homeowner utilizes the LendingTree marketplace to shop around for a home equity loan lender, they select one of five reasons for why they’re seeking the money. By analyzing borrowers’ home equity loan requests in the first quarter of 2024, we determined why homeowners across the 50 states are thinking about tapping into their home equity. Here's what we found.

  • Across the 50 states, 40.58% of those seeking a home equity loan cited paying for home improvements as their primary reason.
  • 33.78% of homeowners considered tapping their home’s equity to help consolidate debt. This was the second most commonly cited reason among LendingTree users. However, in some states like Wyoming, Idaho and South Dakota, it was the most commonly cited. 
  • Using a home’s equity for investment purposes — other than home improvements — was the main goal for 7.68% of homeowners. Examples of investments include buying a property to rent or purchasing shares of a company via the stock market.
  • Only 2.56% of homeowners considered using their home’s equity as retirement income. 

You can check out our full report here: https://www.lendingtree.com/home/mortgage/reasons-for-home-equity-study/

LendingTree's Senior Economist and report author, Jacob Channel, had this to say:

"While a home equity loan can be a good idea for some, getting one isn’t something to take lightly. As is virtually always the case when borrowing money, getting cash via a home equity loan isn’t without risk. In a worst-case scenario, defaulting on a home equity loan can result in a person losing their house. Owing to this, homeowners considering a home equity loan should tread carefully and be sure that they’re in a position to pay back whatever they borrow without serious financial strain."

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