Google Trends Shows Increased Interest in Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs)

Interest in Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs) appears to be on the increase based on the Google Trends Interest Over Time search index. The index for searches in the United States show the highest level in the last 5 years. The seasonal peak of the searches which typically appears in mid-summer, showed up earlier in Q1 2018. This shift may partially be due to changes in tax regulations around the interest deduction on the product. The states with the highest levels of the index were Hawaii, Colorado, Washington, California and Utah. Hawaii's Chief State Economist Dr. Eugene Tian noted in February 2018, that the outstanding balance for home equity loans increased 7% in Hawaii but decreased

FinTech Can Prevent "Banking Deserts"

A recent Milken Institute report on #FinTech described policies that can potentially prevent "Banking Deserts". These are defined as locations without a bank branch within 10 miles. The St. Louis Fed identified 1,100 locations and an additional 1,000 potential deserts as presented in the chart below from the report. The report states - "The proliferation and use of mobile technology, particularly for mobile banking purposes, has the potential to bring more people into the formal financial system, as well as maintain the relationship between the financial services provider and customer, even if that financial services provider no longer has a physical presence in the community." Full report a

2017 US Home Flipping Report Highlights

ATTOM Data Solutions' 2017 U.S. Home Flipping Report has just come out with some fascinating insights. The total number of single family home and condos sales flipped in 2017 was 207,088 - 5.9% of all sales which is an increase from the 2016 level of 5.7%. The motivation for these flips remains the potential profits with 49.8% return on investment (percentage of original purchase price), down from the all-time high average gross flipping ROI of 51.9% percent in 2016. Memphis, Tennessee has the highest number of flips as a percentage of sales (for markets with a population over 1 million) at 12.8% with four other warm weather locations completing the top 5 - Las Vegas (9.1%), Tampa (9.0%), Bi

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