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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26 simple charts to show friends and family who aren’t convinced racism is still a problem in America

Protesters gather in Harlem to protest the recent death of George Floyd on May 30, 2020 in New York City.
Protesters gather in Harlem to protest the recent death of George Floyd on May 30, 2020 in New York City.

David ‘Dee’ Delgado/Getty Images

  • The United States has seen nationwide protests for weeks over the death of George Floyd in police custody, and the frustration that racism and racial inequality still persist throughout modern American life.

  • Data and research have extensively documented the ways in which Black Americans are underrepresented, overrepresented, or experience different treatment from their white counterparts.

  • These 26 charts show the extent of racial disparities in America, in areas like employment, wealth, education, home ownership, healthcare, and incarceration.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Nationwide protests in recent weeks have rekindled a roaring public discourse about racial inequality in America.

George Floyd’s death in police custody on May 25 let loose a groundswell of public rage about the way Black Americans are policed. But it

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