Research by Citizens, the largest U.S. HELOC originator, shows 77% of Millennials are likely to apply within next three years
As interest rates continue upward, home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) remain a popular tool for U.S. homeowners looking to access a flexible borrowing option, according to a recent survey from Citizens. The new study, which measures homeowner sentiment around HELOCs, cash-out refinances and other issues impacting homeowners, shows that 84% of homeowners have some level of familiarity with HELOCs, and, of those familiar, nearly half (46%) consider themselves likely to apply in the next three years, with younger generations as the most likely. Current homeowners also ranked personal loans side by side with HELOCs (69%) and personal bank loans (69%) among their preferred loan alternatives.
“Homeowners are following their home’s equity more closely as prices fluctuate, and the growing HELOC space is a testament to that,” Adam Boyd, Head of Home Equity Lending at Citizens. “We are fully committed to the HELOC space as demonstrated by our leading offerings and this survey, which shows Millennials and Gen Z are continuing to adopt the HELOC product or consider applying as rates change their homeowner goals and ambitions.”
Millennials and Gen Z Embrace HELOCs as Rates Move Upward
The survey found that younger generations are far more likely to consider applying for a HELOC, including 60% of Gen Z and 77% of Millennials, citing that they were likely to apply in the next three years. Generations had different expectations on how they would or previously have used HELOCs with Millennials (45%), Gen Xers (54%) and Boomers (38%) reported using the product most for home renovations, whereas Gen Zers were more likely to consider the product to help build their savings funds (39%).
Despite Market Volatility, American Homeowners are Feeling Financially Stable and Staying Put
As homeowners navigate today’s fluctuating real estate market, Citizens also found that 68% of those surveyed do not plan to sell their home in the next five years, indicating hesitation and the slow-moving inventory the U.S. continues to face. As HELOCs can also be used for a range of uses, the survey found renovations are the most popular usage among all ages (43%) and likely to grow as many homebuyers stay in their homes longer and seek customizations.
“With homeowners facing record inflation levels it’s important that they create strategies to streamline existing debts into manageable payments and that’s possible through a HELOC,” said Boyd. “HELOCs are popular right now because they provide homeowners with a low-cost solution to access their home’s equity for financing needs without impacting the rate on their mortgage.”
Consumers Remain Confident in their Mortgage Payments
Amid fears of a potential economic downturn, many homeowners surveyed felt confident in their ability to pay their mortgage over the next 12 months, with 52% feeling completely confident and 6% feeling not too confident or not at all confident.
Rising Interest Rates Cool Homebuying and Refi Market, Driving Homeowners to Renovate
As refinancing wanes due to rising interest rates, many consumers are also considering HELOCs as an alternative to draw cash funds. Among those who previously used a cash-out refinance, homeowners most often put the funds toward a renovation (33%), debt consolidation (31%) or savings funds (27%).
Regarding mortgage interest rates, more than one-third (35%) of those surveyed said their current rate was between 2-4%. Only 8% of homeowners surveyed have a rate assigned at 6% or higher and 22% have a rate between 4-6%.
The survey was conducted for Citizens by Wakefield Research among 1,000 nationally representative U.S. homeowners, between October 14th and October 23rd, 2022, using an email invitation and an online survey. Data has been weighted to ensure an accurate representation of U.S. homeowners ages 18+.
About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.
Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $224.7 billion in assets as of September 30, 2022. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations and institutions. Citizens helps its customers reach their potential by listening to them and by understanding their needs in order to offer tailored advice, ideas and solutions. In Consumer Banking, Citizens provides an integrated experience that includes mobile and online banking, a full-service customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 3,400 ATMs and approximately 1,200 branches in 14 states and the District of Columbia. Consumer Banking products and services include a full range of banking, lending, savings, wealth management and small business offerings. In Commercial Banking, Citizens offers a broad complement of financial products and solutions, including lending and leasing, deposit and treasury management services, foreign exchange, interest rate and commodity risk management solutions, as well as loan syndication, corporate finance, merger and acquisition, and debt and equity capital markets capabilities. More information is available at www.citizensbank.com or visit us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.