More homeowners mortgage-free than underwater
Nearly 30% of U.S. homeowners own their home free and clear, compared with 20% who are underwater. West Virginia has the highest percentage of free-and-clear owners.
More homeowners own their home outright than are underwater on their mortgage, according to new Zillow data.
Looking at data from the credit-scoring agency TransUnion, the real-estate portal determined that 20.6 million homeowners, 29.3% of all homeowners, own their home free and clear. That compares with just over 14 million, about 20% of homeowners, who owe more on their home mortgage than their property is worth.
But the rate of free-and-clear ownership, like the rate of negative equity, isn’t uniform across the country. Not surprisingly, the percentage of homeowners without a mortgage is greater in areas where homes are cheaper.
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The state with the highest percentage of homeowners without a mortgage is West Virginia, at 45%, followed by Louisiana, at 39%, and Arkansas, at 38%. In contrast, the lowest rate of free-and-clear ownership is in the District of Columbia, at 21%, followed by Nevada and Maryland, both at 21%.
"Similar to negative equity, the free-and-clear homeownership rate is largely driven by home values – but in a different way," Cory Hopkins wrote at the Zillow blog. "Underwater borrowers are pulled to the surface as home values rise. But we found that in areas with proportionally lower overall home values, free-and-clear homeownership rates are likely to be higher. This makes sense – smaller loan amounts are easier to pay back more quickly."
The report also looked at mortgage-free homeowners by age. Not surprisingly, the age group with the greatest percentage of mortgage-free homeowners was people over 85, at 78%. That was followed by homeowners 74 to 84, at 63%, and homeowners 65 to 74, at 41%.
But the next-highest percentage was homeowners 20 to 24, 35% of whom owned their home free and clear. That is likely to reflect the fact that homeowners in that age group either are very wealthy or had their homes purchased by parents.
You can see all the data here, some of it down to the county level. The analysis also looked at mortgage-free ownership by credit score.
When i move too denver in 2005 cheapest houses were highest crime areas were over $100,000 dollars and the crap house i bought in older neighborhood was $200,000 then recession and value dropped $90,000 to where that house should have been in the first place.
Realestate has expected unrealistic profits on every sale for so long houses shot way over real value and incomes of workers to repay the loans.
Learn to live within your means and without the latest and fanciest things that are on the market.
My home has been mortgage free for 24 years and I have no other debts. I don't use credit cards, and half my income (after charitable donations) is invested.
Just learn to do without every new thing that comes on the market, quit being part of the disposable society, and you can be debt free too.
It doesn't take long to pay them off in Yuppie Land either if you have a good job. Remember that West Virginia, Arkansas and many of those other states you disparage tend to have lower than average incomes.
The main difference is that some people, regardless of their circumstances, have the sense and self discipline to live within their resources while others live fantasies.
Sniff sniff, smells like a desperate placed story to get us all back into the home buying business,lose our shirts all over again,owe money again and be abused for trying to buy a home!
Well the market is rigged and these lies aren't fooling anyone!
Buying a house is tooooooo much BS, with tons of hidden fees and sur charges from nameless people who do nothing but read your paperwork!
Until the housing market downsizes the paperwork,stream lines its buying process and stops treating its customers like dumb animals no ones going to go through it.
In short you need to sell houses and there are plent of empty ones,but I see no reason to buy a it only cost me money and has little reward thanks to hyper inflated prices and the secret debt that it carries! Obama in office no home buying for me!
I still can not comprehend that the baboons would increase the national debt 4 trillion dollars in 8 year much less the outrageous boondoggle of all boondoggles in allowing the debt to increase 8 trillion in 4 years. Are they out of their minds. Is Nancy gone completely off her rocker or is she making killing of the benefits. Democrats, Want more taxes? Bring our production jobs back home and put people back to work and you will have your taxes. Tax import directly proportion the the unemployment rate in the US. Tax imports enough to pay for all unemployment and welfare claims. Make it a pay as you go basices. No exceptions and no loop holes. Just like the flat tax idea. it will never happen because to much money is being made from the tax codes as written. Why do you think they were written in the first place. As Ross Parot said "Follow the money"
This is all well and "nice-nice", but this lefty network fails to mention that these homeowners STILL HAVE TO PAY PROPERTY TAXES!!! Here in NJ, property taxes have (for years thanks to democratic rule) been crushing homeowners (even if they do own outwright) into the dirt with an average number of around 6,000.00 a year. (By the way 6 grand is a LOW number, many pay as much as 12 to 14 grand a year). Seniors are NOT exempt from these painful numbers, and many have to decide every month whether to pay for meds or pay the property tax so they do not get thrown out of their own home. The democrats here do not see this, yet they promote that the Republicans do not care about seniors.
Nice try MSN, but as always, you spin-masters just don't get it right...
A dis-satisfied customer and voter...
Both posts are prophetically true. My generation simply had to have it all and borrowing was supposed to be the cure for it. Remember we were supposedly in our "prime" during the Reagan years when borrowing and deficit financing was the new, new thing....and no end in sight. We are paying dearly for this right now...and the generations afterwards are too. No wonder we should be thrown under the bus. The day the boomers are put in their place, the better.
Only 41% of people age 65 to 74 own their houses? 59% still pay a mortgage?
Wow. That is just stupid! 65 years old and still haven't paid off your house?
Sigh. And these are the people that are supposed to have been teaching their kids and grandkids about money. Sigh
About Teresa Mears
Teresa Mears is a veteran journalist who has been interested in houses since her father took her to tax auctions to carry the cash at age 10. A former editor of The Miami Herald's Home & Design section, she lives in South Florida where, in addition to writing about real estate, she publishes Miami on the Cheap to help her neighbors adjust to the loss of 60% of their property value.