Less equity being tapped from homes

From Times Wire Services

Falling home prices and tighter lending standards are preventing more homeowners from pulling money out of their homes, Freddie Mac said.

In the first three months of the year, 56% of homeowners refinanced their mortgages and "cashed out" at least 5% of their equity. That's a four-year low, and down from the peak in mid-2006 of 88% of homeowners, according to the McLean, Va.-based mortgage finance company.

From January through March, Freddie Mac said borrowers cashed out $29 billion in home equity, down more than 19% from $36 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007.

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