LendingTree Ranks Cities by Home Improvement Loan Popularity

Oklahoma City, San Jose and Salt Lake City lead nation in home improvement loan popularity

CHARLOTTE, N.C., July 30, 2018 - LendingTree®, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, today released a study on which cities use the most home improvement loans.
To find out where homeowners are taking out home improvement loans the most, LendingTree analysts ranked the 50 largest U.S. cities by the volume of home improvement loans as a percentage of the total housing units in a city, using Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data for 2017, which covers 7.3 million loans. The study also includes the median loan amounts to gauge where buyers are putting the most money into their homes.

“Today’s housing market is characterized by a lack of inventory for both new and existing homes,” said Tendayi Kapfidze, Chief Economist at LendingTree. “In the existing market, there is a shortage of current owners willing to sell, in part because it can prove challenging to find another house to buy while you sell or once you sell your home. In lieu of moving, many homeowners choose to improve their current homes and, for larger projects, homeowners may take out a loan to finance the renovation.”
 
Key findings of the study include:
  • Home improvement loans were taken out on a small fraction — less than 1 percent — of homes in 2017. This may seem low, but it doesn’t necessarily mean folks aren’t updating their homes. Many home improvements are financed by savings, other types of credit and other types of mortgage loans such as cash-out refinances and HELOCs. As a point of reference, existing home sales were just 4 percent of the housing stock in 2017.
  • The locations of cities with high rates of home improvement are quite diverse and did not have many characteristics in common. This suggests localized factors account for renovation activity.
  • Oklahoma City has the highest rate of using home improvement loans, with 0.77 percent of homes having a loan originated in 2017, over three times the rate of bottom-ranked New York and Miami. The city has been growing rapidly and is one of the most spread out cities in the country, meaning homeowners have lots of room to work with.
  • San Jose is second. Noted for its high prices and tight inventory, homeowners flush with equity may be adding all the latest bells and whistles to their homes in this tech industry-dominated city.
  • New York has the lowest rate of using home improvement loans. The cities at the bottom of the ranking are also very geographically diverse, with New York bringing up the anchor. A low share of single-family homes may be due to the fact that many New Yorkers live in multi-family homes and cannot carry out extensive home renovations.
  • Miami and Houston are the other cities in the bottom three. These cities were both severely affected by hurricanes in late 2017, which might have suppressed renovation activity. Continued recovery from hurricane damage in 2018, however, may boost home improvement activity.
  • San Jose, San Francisco and Los Angeles have the biggest renovation loans. The highest median loan size was in San Jose at $374,000, followed by San Francisco and Los Angeles. Rankings of median loan size are largely in line with home values.
  • The smallest loans were in Memphis, Tenn., at $10,000, then Oklahoma City and Virginia Beach.
 
Cities with highest rate of home improvement loans: 

#1 Oklahoma City
Rate of home improvement loans: 0.77%
Median loan amount: $15,000
Median borrower income: $64,000
#2 San Jose, Calif.
Rate of home improvement loans: 0.75%
Median loan amount: $374,000
Median borrower income: $144,000
#3 Salt Lake City
Rate of home improvement loans: 0.72%
Median loan amount: $130,000
Median borrower income: $77,000



Cities with the lowest rate of home improvement loans: 

#48 Houston
Rate of home improvement loans: 0.27%
Median loan amount: $47,000
Median borrower income: $87,000
#49 Miami
Rate of home improvement loans: 0.22%
Median loan amount: $50,000
Median borrower income: $72,000
#50 New York
Rate of home improvement loans: 0.18%
Median loan amount: $60,000
Median borrower income: $99,000
 
To view the full report, visit: https://www.lendingtree.com/home/cities-using-home-improvement-loans/.
 
Rank  City Home Improvement Loans as a Share of Housing Units Median Loan Amount Median Income
1 Oklahoma City 0.77%  $         15,000  $            64,000
2 San Jose, Calif. 0.75%  $       374,000  $          144,000
3 Salt Lake City 0.72%  $       130,000  $            77,000
4 Pittsburgh 0.70%  $         28,000  $            69,000
5 Boston 0.65%  $         70,000  $          104,000
6 Portland, Ore. 0.64%  $       199,000  $            83,000
7 Denver 0.60%  $       184,000  $            81,000
8 Minneapolis 0.59%  $         60,000  $            86,000
9 Virginia Beach, Va. 0.56%  $         16,000  $            67,000
10 Sacramento, Calif. 0.55%  $       173,000  $            89,000
11 Washington 0.54%  $         40,000  $            95,000
12 Riverside, Calif. 0.53%  $       135,000  $            80,000
13 Seattle 0.48%  $       212,000  $            97,000
14 Detroit 0.48%  $         25,000  $            69,000
15 Nashville, Tenn. 0.46%  $         66,000  $            65,000
16 Providence, R.I. 0.46%  $         36,000  $            80,000
17 Indianapolis 0.45%  $         38,000  $            72,000
18 San Diego 0.45%  $       250,000  $            99,000
19 Philadelphia 0.44%  $         30,000  $            75,000
20 Austin, Texas 0.41%  $         79,000  $            94,000
21 Cincinnati 0.40%  $         35,000  $            70,000
22 St.Louis 0.40%  $         45,000  $            73,000
23 Los Angeles 0.39%  $       263,000  $            96,000
24 Buffalo, N.Y. 0.39%  $         20,000  $            59,000
25 Kansas City, Mo. 0.39%  $         60,000  $            74,000
26 Richmond, Va. 0.39%  $         25,000  $            63,000
27 Phoenix 0.38%  $         85,000  $            80,000
28 Columbus, Ohio 0.38%  $         45,000  $            71,000
29 Atlanta 0.38%  $         35,000  $            73,000
30 Hartford, Conn. 0.38%  $         35,000  $            89,000
31 Baltimore 0.37%  $         28,000  $            80,000
32 Dallas 0.37%  $         55,000  $            92,000
33 Louisville, Ky. 0.37%  $         37,000  $            60,000
34 Las Vegas 0.36%  $       100,000  $            70,000
35 Jacksonville, Fla. 0.35%  $         30,000  $            71,000
36 Tampa, Fla. 0.35%  $         25,000  $            60,000
37 Milwaukee 0.34%  $         30,000  $            77,000
38 Cleveland 0.33%  $         25,000  $            64,000
39 Raleigh, N.C. 0.33%  $         50,000  $            78,000
40 Orlando, Fla. 0.33%  $         31,000  $            63,000
41 Charlotte, N.C. 0.31%  $         50,000  $            69,000
42 Memphis, Tenn. 0.30%  $         10,000  $            52,000
43 Birmingham, Ala. 0.30%  $         25,000  $            57,000
44 San Antonio 0.29%  $         37,000  $            71,000
45 New Orleans 0.28%  $         40,000  $            65,000
46 Chicago 0.28%  $         50,000  $            78,000
47 San Francisco 0.28%  $       291,000  $          117,000
48 Houston 0.27%  $         47,000  $            87,000
49 Miami 0.22%  $         50,000  $            72,000
50 New York 0.18%  $         60,000  $            99,000
 
 
About LendingTree
LendingTree (NASDAQ: TREE) is the nation's leading online marketplace that connects consumers with the choices they need to be confident in their financial decisions. LendingTree empowers consumers to shop for financial services the same way they would shop for airline tickets or hotel stays, comparing multiple offers from a nationwide network of over 500 partners in one simple search, and can choose the option that best fits their financial needs. Services include mortgage loans, mortgage refinances, auto loans, personal loans, business loans, student refinances, credit cards and more. Through the My LendingTree platform, consumers receive free credit scores, credit monitoring and recommendations to improve credit health. My LendingTree proactively compares consumers' credit accounts against offers on our network, and notifies consumers when there is an opportunity to save money. In short, LendingTree's purpose is to help simplify financial decisions for life's meaningful moments through choice, education and support. LendingTree, LLC is a subsidiary of LendingTree, Inc. For more information, go to www.lendingtree.com, dial 800-555-TREE, like our Facebook page and/or follow us on Twitter @LendingTree.