This week, Byron Lazine and Nicole White discuss PPP loans, record-setting levels of home equity and a Montana Marketeer.

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Byron Lazine and Nicole White are two agents in Connecticut who give us their thoughts on the week’s news every Friday in “The Real Word,” a weekly video column on Inman.

Byron Lazine and Nicole White began this week’s episode with a discussion of Inman’s recent article on how real estate agents received billions in PPP loans during the pandemic. While loans were typically small, and forgiven, many agents made 6- and 7-figure salaries during the year that the PPP money was forgiven.

Lazine and White both said that they took PPP money and that, like many agents, in March, April and May there was tremendous uncertainty about the future of markets and the economy.

Next, Lazine and White discussed the Q1 2022 rise in US homeowner equity by $1.2 trillion, according to an analysis by mortgage software and analytics firm Black Knight. This number measured the amount of “tappable” equity — defined as equity above 20 percent of the home’s value — at $11 trillion.

Lazine said this is why homeowners have so much more wealth than renters, and this is a number that agents should be putting out to every renter in their markets. However, he believes that current market shifts and hiring freezes could lead to homeowners putting more homes on the market, increasing inventory and weakening home values.

Marketeer of the Week

The Marketeer this week is the Paramount TV show Yellowstone which has driven an influx of wealthy newcomers moving to Montana. This is driving up prices and pricing some lifetime residents out of the housing market.

Lazine and White are both fans of the show, and Lazine said that the beauty of the show makes him want to visit, as well. White said this would be a good time for investors to open Airbnbs in Montana.

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