Potential homebuyers who don’t have a lot of cash to put down now have a cheaper way to get a loan.
Home prices have picked up in 2014, and made enough gains to give U.S. homeowners a collective $1.7 trillion in additional home equity, according to real estate company Zillow. Some tapped that immediately, taking out home equity lines of credit. In fact, that was the fastest growing segment of the mortgage market.
Others, many of whom came up from under water on their mortgages, decided to sell. Inventory is up nearly 12 percent from a year ago. Seven million borrowers have escaped negative equity since 2012, either through foreclosure, short sale, paying down debt or home price appreciation; nearly 9 million are still drowning in housing debt, according to Zillow.