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.


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Here’s who’s hiring as the economy reopens and jobless Americans go on the hunt

As states open up their economies, workers who lost their jobs during the pandemic and ensuing shutdowns are on the hunt again.

In May, the economy added 2.5 million jobs — surprising economists — while the unemployment rate fell to 13.3% from 14.7% in April. Still, 20.5 million people remain jobless, per the May jobs report from the Labor Department.

Read more: Unemployment insurance: What it is and how to get it

The good news for job hunters: Not every sector is struggling and those who were recently laid off may be able to find work to meet the growing demand in certain industries. Some companies have such a need for workers that they are forgoing background checks and hiring qualified candidates on the spot.

Here’s where to look.

The economy added 2.5 million jobs in May and the unemployment rate dipped to 13.3%. (Credit: David Foster/Yahoo Finance)


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