The biggest events to affect the title industry in 2017 have really been the return of the purchase market as well as the occasional (slight) increase in key interest rates by the Fed. After years of serving a refinance-driven client base, title agents are starting to settle in for the new cycle.
But before you get too comfortable (or resigned, for some) with the thought of heavy purchase volume, consider a few other economic indicators.
- A continued increase in home values (including owner equity)
- A widespread shortage or stagnation in home inventory/availability
- Increasing consumer confidence and stabilized employment reports
We admit that any of these indicators can be examined with a fine-tooth comb and debated. There’s also the looming wild card of hi-impact regulation or legislation; the impact of global events on a global economy increasingly intertwined with our own, and so forth. But having said all that, these are the indicators that suggest even the possibility that home owners will increasingly seek out Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC) or Home Equity Loans (HEL).
Some would argue that the cash-out refinance meets many of the needs of most HELOC borrowers, and we don’t disagree. Perhaps there’s another re-fi spike ahead. But the boom of refinance in the past 2-3 years suggests that, in combination with rising interest rates, many home owners will think twice about refinancing to less favorable conditions.
So what does this mean to you as a title agent? Especially if you’re an agent working hard to diversify your order profile? In a market as volatile as this, retooling or dramatically altering your capabilities probably isn’t the best investment. But what about having the capabilities to manage a lender’s HELOC requirements available if and when that market does shift? Perhaps access to hi quality tax searches, one and two owner title searches and release tracking…all scalable and none tied to the costs of staffing up and the like?
If that sounds good to you, we may know of someone who can help. Contact us to learn more!
About the Author
Angela joined the reQuire team in February 2012. She has over 15 years of experience in sales and marketing in commercial building, publishing, software, and real estate services. Angela completed her undergraduate degree at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri and she earned an MBA from the University of Phoenix in 2006. Angela lives with her family in Glenwood, Maryland and enjoys spending time with them traveling and playing golf and tennis.