Black Knight is a leading mortgage and real estate research company. They recently released their July Mortgage Monitor report. One of the most interesting pieces of data they study is “tappable equity.”

What is Tappable Equity?

This is the amount that homeowners have available to borrow against while retaining at least 20% of the equity in their homes. In other words, this is how much money a homeowner might have access to if applying for a cash-out refinance or home equity line of credit (HELOC). There may be many reasons why you would want to tap into your equity now. One great idea is to use your equity to pay for home improvement projects and upgrades that can boost the resale value of your property. Or, you may use the funds to pay off other high-interest debts (car loans, credit cards, student loans, etc.), your children’s college expenses, or other necessary purchases. I say “necessary” because it’s probably not a good idea to borrow against your house’s equity if you don’t need to.

Q2 2021 Tappable Equity

According to Black Knight’s research, tappable equity in Q2 2021 was at an all-time high. This means homeowners had more accessible equity than ever before.

“Tappable equity grew an astonishing 37% year-over-year in Q2 2021, driven by increasing gains in home values over the quarter,” says Ben Graboske, Black Knight Data & Analytics President. “As of the end of June, home values had risen nearly 20% from the year before and 7.4% in Q2 alone. As a result, already at a record high of $8.1 trillion at the end of Q1, U.S. homeowners with mortgages gained another $1 trillion in tappable equity in the second quarter alone. This is by far the strongest growth we’ve ever seen and equates to some $173,000 in equity available to the average mortgage holder, a $20,000 increase in just three months.”

Black Knight notes that the hot housing market continues to drive exceptional borrower equity positions, despite a rising number of equity withdrawals in 2021. In fact, there were 1.1 million cash-outs originated in Q2, totaling more than $63 billion. These numbers represent the largest quarterly volume since 2007.

Should I Cash Out My Tappable Equity?

Does this mean you should cash out your equity? Not necessarily. As mentioned before, it’s only smart to borrow against your home’s value if the money is being used for something worthwhile. Re-investing in projects that could increase the value of your property is a prime example. Paying off other high-interest debts could be beneficial. Just remember you are trading one debt for another. Even though you are borrowing from the home equity you’ve earned, those profits aren’t truly yours until you sell the house. If you don’t need the money, then it’s always best to keep it in the property and continue to let it grow until it’s time to sell.

If you are interested in learning more about a cash-out refinance at today’s great rates or a HELOC, contact Transparent Mortgage today. Give us a call at (619) 431-0754 or email me directly at

Beau Hodson

Beau Hodson

About the Author Since 2003, Beau has been a mortgage professional and is a leading mortgage broker and lender in San Diego. As Founder and Senior Mortgage Advisor at Transparent Mortgage, he is truly committed to serving the needs of his clients and raising industry standards for integrity and transparency.