``Home-equity lines of credit, or Helocs, and home-equity loans jumped 8% in the first quarter from a year earlier, industry newsletter Inside Mortgage Finance said Thursday. The $13 billion extended was the most for the start of a year since 2009. Inside Mortgage Finance noted the bulk of the home-equity originations were Helocs.


This time, lenders seem to be offering Helocs only to borrowers with good credit in locations where home values have risen, said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of mortgage-information site HSH.com. During the boom, homeowners could borrow up to 100% of their home's value, said Mr. Gumbinger. Now it is most common to see a maximum of 80% and sometimes 85%, he said.


"It's really about the stabilization of the real-estate market and property values going up. It gives us more comfort as to the value of the homes--the equity is there and the client profiles look strong," said Tom Wind, executive vice president of home lending at EverBank, based in Jacksonville, Fla. Starting in June, EverBank will offer Helocs for the first time since exiting the market in December 2007.

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