Markets & Economy

The return of the home as ATM

Increase in HELOCs, lower lending standards are warning signs of another housing bubble

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

“Borrowers Tap Their Homes at a Hot Clip” blurted a recent Wall Street Journal headline. It was bound to happen with rising home prices. Didn’t get a raise? Working two jobs to make ends meet and need cash? If you own a home, you may be in luck. That same old home that you bought years ago is worth more today than it was last year. Your house hasn’t become more productive and most likely has depreciated, but it’s worth more and that means you can margin your used home to cash in. Homeowners, sellers are optimistic The constant barrage of media reports of a housing “recovery” have sunk in. Home sellers are as optimistic as they have been on the upward trajectory of home prices since 2007 -- just before the big plunge. Homeowners are seemingly oblivious to a declining homeownership rate, a shrinking workforce that leaves fewer potential homebuyers, declining existing-home sales, declining new-home sales, declining pending home sales and declining mortgage app...