CNW: Using Home Equity Loans for Vehicle Purchases on the Rise

BANDON, Ore. - 

As many may remember, using a home-equity loan to make a new-vehicle purchase was a key method for acquiring a vehicle prior to the recession and the house-price collapse, according to CNW Research.

But firm president Art Spinella says recent trends suggest that consumers are reverting back to home equity loans, especially among those who have been long-time owners of their residence and still have equity to use.

In 2007, prior to the big hit on the housing market, Spinella tabulated that 11.8 percent of all new-vehicle acquisitions were done with a home equity loan. He found the continual decline hit its nadir in 2010 with only 4.4 percent of new-vehicle buyers using a loan based on home equity.

Last year, CNW indicated the figure inched upward to 4.56 percent. based on the first two and a half months of this year, the firm thinks it is likely to be nearer to 5 percent. 

Delving deeper into its data, CNW determined California had the most home equity loans used for a new-vehicle purchase in 2007 with nearly 30 percent.

"That dropped by more than 13 points in a single year and continued to tumble until 2010," Spinella shared. "The share rebounded in 2011, and CNW expects it will rise to 12.5 percent this year."

CNW also noted Florida had a similar deterioration pattern, falling from nearly 20 percent in 2007 to 7.5 percent the following year.

But Spinella expects the Sunshine State figures that what began to rise in 2010 will likely hit nearly 11 percent this year.

What do these home-equity loan trends mean for franchised dealerships and other stores?

"All of the stars were aligned when the industry hit 17 million units. One star was home equity loans," Spinella stressed. 

"That's a long-way from returning to its peak, and until it does, 17-plus is currently only a dream," he concluded.

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