Oct 21, 2023 - Real Estate

Tampa Bay Gen Xers' wealth is locked up in homes

Illustration of a safe with a roof like a house.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Roughly seven in 10 Gen Xers own their homes, but accessing that equity isn't easy.

Why it matters: Many Gen Xers are house-rich but cash-poor.

The big picture: Nearly half of Gen Xers say they feel behind on retirement savings, according to a Bankrate study.

  • Roughly two-thirds of Gen Xers say they're uncomfortable with their level of emergency savings, and 22% have no emergency savings at all, per the study.

The intrigue: U.S. homeowners are sitting on $31.7 trillion of home equity, but unlocking that cash could unleash fees like higher mortgage rates.

What's happening: People are only doing cash-out refinances when they have to, according to housing finance policy expert Laurie Goodman.

  • These folks typically have lower credit scores and have exhausted other cash resources like savings, she says.
  • Fewer people refinanced overall in the first half of 2023, but of those who did, nine in 10 were cash-out refinances, per Freddie Mac.

Consolidating debt is one major reason people are tapping into their home equity, Loan Pronto CEO Roger Moore tells Axios.

  • Borrowers are also opting to expand or renovate their current home instead of moving, he says.

Zoom in: Cusper Chris Cordona, who was born between Gen X and boomer generations, says he prefers to let his equity grow. He's made upgrades to his St. Pete home in recent years, and has thought about using equity to add more to his home, but decided not to tap into it because of interest rates.

Be smart: People with a 700+ credit score can use HELOCs or HELOANs to keep their primary mortgage rate and access additional cash/credit.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Tampa Bay.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Tampa Bay stories

No stories could be found

Tampa Baypostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Tampa Bay.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more