The rise in home equity withdrawal therefore did not weaken markedly household balance sheets: it helped to repay high-interest credit card balances, financed the build-up of financial assets (including tax-deductible contributions to pension funds) and contributed to the maintenance of real estate assets.
(2.) Home equity withdrawal is defined by Federal Reserve researchers as "the discretionary initiatives of homeowners to convert equity in their homes into cash by borrowing in the home mortgage market".
This paper builds on the literature in this area by using micro data to analyse home equity withdrawal trends in recent years.
The second chart in Figure 3 shows the value of home equity withdrawal as a percentage of the gross value of all housing assets, i.e.
One important caveat here is that we are unable to track the home equity withdrawal that could have occurred when borrowers re-mortgaged properties and folded the old loan into a new loan.
This allows us to analyse the extent to which home equity withdrawal was used to part finance other property investment (i.e.
The analysis of the trends in the following sections is presented under four headings: (i) the level of borrowing that occurred; (ii) the terms and conditions attached to such lending, compared with other consumer lending; (iii) the characteristics of borrowers; and (iv) reasons for home equity withdrawal.
It is important to know the main reasons for home equity withdrawal as it adds to our understanding of the relationship between economic activity and this form of collateral-based lending.