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Home equity hits all time high, but Americans aren’t tapping it

American homeowners have a record amount of wealth in their homes they can tap, but few of them are. 

Total home equity in the U.S. rose to its highest level ever at $6.5 trillion in the first quarter before the coronavirus pandemic took hold, according to Black Knight, a loan research and analytics firm, up from $6.2 trillion at the end of 2019.

Read more: Coronavirus: What if you can’t pay your mortgage?

But the share of cash-out refinances, which unlock that wealth, fell to a four-year low. As of June, there were no indications that cash-out refinances were on the rise, Black Knight found, even as the pandemic continues to financially strain many U.S. households.

Why homeowners aren’t tapping their equity is twofold, experts said. Homeowners are reluctant to drain that wealth, while banks are reticent to lend to riskier borrowers in such uncertain economic times.

It’s

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Time to fix that leaky faucet? Home improvement stores busy in coronavirus lockdowns

Some people stuck at home amid coronavirus lockdowns are using the time to whittle down their fix-it lists and home improvement projects, retailers say.

“We’re definitely seeing the folks stuck at home saying, ‘Hey, I’m going to do that project which I’ve been wanting to do,’ ” said Barbara Werkheiser, co-owner of Nazareth Hometown Hardware in Pennsylvania, Lehigh Valley Live reports. “I think people are trying to be constructive.”

For others, however, it’s less a matter a choice rather than necessity.

In Portland, Oregon, Kat Bradfield said she’s trying to obey a state stay-at-home order but needed a new ethernet cable to work from home, bringing her to The Home Depot, The Oregonian reported.

More than 487,000 cases of the COVID-19 virus have been confirmed worldwide with more than 22,000 deaths as of March 26, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States has more than 69,000 confirmed cases and

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