Are Homeownership Patterns Stable Enough to Tap Home Equity?

IB#20-3

The brief’s key findings are:

  • For a comfortable retirement, many households may need to tap their home equity but, currently, few take out a reverse mortgage or defer their property taxes.
  • One reason may be that, if they move during retirement, they would have to pay back the loan and could be left with inadequate resources late in life.
  • However, the analysis finds that about half of households never move at all, most of the rest largely stay put, and only a small share move frequently.
  • The bottom line: most older households exhibit enough residential stability to make tapping home equity viable.