Higher rates spelled the end of the refinancing boom, but they could create a new boom in home equity lending-a business banks have built up in recent years.

With the recent uptick in interest rates, mortgage refinancing activity in the week that ended July 2 was off 50% from a year earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. But MBA chief economist David Lereah suggested that the news may be as good for home equity lenders as it is bad for mortgage lenders.

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