According to data from the Federal Reserve, the value of home equity in the United States increased by $794 billion in the first quarter of 2014. The report states that this increase will be felt in the housing market in the near future. Several contributing factors include an increase in home equity lending, more lax credit standards, and the refinancing of mortgages into newer, improved rates. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that mortgage credit availability has risen due to the changing standards. More here