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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Exclusive Tour of MAD Architects’ Stunning New Residential Design

In the world of architecture, like with writers and artists, there’s a proverbial baton that’s passed from one generation of virtuosos to the next. Examples abound: Toni Morrison and Ta-Nehisi Coates, Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Zaha Hadid and Ma Yansong. Indeed, it’s with Yansong’s latest project—the verdant Gardenhouse, a residential design in the heart of Los Angeles—that the young Chinese architect has secured his status of progressing the practice of architecture from one era into the next.

Ma Yansong, 45 and founder of MAD architects, has become China’s most exciting young architect. For years he’s been compared to his mentor, the late Zaha Hadid. And for good reason. His bold, free-formed, futuristic designs stand out—as if a spaceship parked in a suburban neighborhood. In many ways Yansong, like Hadid before him, is showing us the future of design. “My goal with Gardenhouse is to introduce a new and

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