Have you ever noticed how intrigued the American culture is with things that are retro?  My two 20-something sons love retro clothes, especially square-bottom, striped knit ties. We buy everything from toasters to cars all designed to look like grandma’s.  We spend millions of dollars each year designing new homes and additions to look like those much-admired 100-year-old homes we dream of living in … crazy fascinations with “what’s old is new again,” right?

Like all things retro, they have to disappear for a while before they return as trendy. The next “comeback” is right around the corner in the lending industry too: the return of the second mortgage and HELOC. The difference is today’s products must be produced better, more cost-effectively and safely and with far more consumer understanding of what’s being purchased.  

There’s an abundance of statistics that provide ample reason to believe the second lien business is on its way back with a fury and a growing opportunity moving forward for credit unions.  The National Association of Realtors has shown that sales prices (and home appreciation) have consistently grown quarter-to-quarter for the past 18 months.  Realogy Holdings Corp., the parent company of the franchise group including CENTURY 21, Coldwell Banker, ERA and other well-known brands, launched an IPO last year that has traded at a 30%+ premium since then, with commission revenue growing as a result of higher sales prices.   

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