The U.S. home equity market could reach $1 trillion in value by the end of the year, according to the TowerGroup, a Boston-area research and consulting group focused on the financial services industry.The firm said the low interest rates and potential tax deductions offered by home equity represent "a better option" than other forms of credit or tapping into savings. "As mortgage rates creep up and lenders get creative, TowerGroup believes home equity will become the popular choice for consumers locked into a low-rate first mortgage -- as well as for those who need extra money for seasonal purchases at year-end, debt consolidation after the New Year, or tax payments in the spring," the company said. TowerGroup can be found online at http://www.towergroup.com.

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