Special Report

States With the Most Mortgage Debt

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50. West Virginia
> Avg. mortgage debt: $128,004
> Homeownership rate: 73.4% (the highest)
> Median home value: $124,600 (the lowest)
> Homeowners with a mortgage: 46.4% (the lowest)
> Median household income: $48,850 (2nd lowest)

The average mortgage debt in West Virginia is just $128,004 — the lowest among the 50 states. The lower average debt is partially due to lower home values in the state. The typical home in West Virginia is worth just $124,600, the least of any state in the country.

Low home values not only reduce the amount buyers need to borrow but also make homeownership affordable for a wider range of budgets. West Virginia’s homeownership rate of 73.4% is the highest of any state.

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49. Mississippi
> Avg. mortgage debt: $135,374
> Homeownership rate: 67.3% (19th highest)
> Median home value: $128,200 (2nd lowest)
> Homeowners with a mortgage: 49.1% (2nd lowest)
> Median household income: $45,792 (the lowest)

Homeowners with a mortgage in Mississippi have on average $135,374 in outstanding liabilities — the second lowest amount of any state.

Mortgage debts tend to be lower in places where home values are also low, and in Mississippi, the typical home is worth just $128,200, the second lowest median home value of any state. Home values are typically a reflection of what area residents can afford, and just as home values are low in Mississippi, so, too, are incomes. The typical household in the state earns $45,792 a year, less than in every other state and well below the national median household income of $65,712.

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48. Indiana
> Avg. mortgage debt: $140,915
> Homeownership rate: 69.3% (13th highest)
> Median home value: $156,000 (7th lowest)
> Homeowners with a mortgage: 65.2% (14th highest)
> Median household income: $57,603 (14th lowest)

Indiana has the lowest average mortgage debt of any state in the Midwest and third lowest nationwide. Homeowners with a mortgage in the state owe an average of just $140,915 on their home loan, nearly $90,000 below the national average.

Homeowners in Indiana are more likely than most to finance their home through a lender. An estimated 65.2% of homeowners in the state have an outstanding mortgage, a larger share than in most states and slightly higher than the 61.7% share of homeowners with a mortgage nationwide.

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47. Ohio
> Avg. mortgage debt: $142,293
> Homeownership rate: 66.0% (21st lowest)
> Median home value: $157,200 (8th lowest)
> Homeowners with a mortgage: 62.1% (24th highest)
> Median household income: $58,642 (15th lowest)

The typical home in Ohio is worth $157,200 — less than in all but seven other states and well below the national median home value of $240,500. Lower home values mean homeowners do not have to borrow as much. The average mortgage debt in Ohio is $142,293, the fourth lowest of any state.

Lower-valued homes also make homeownership more affordable for a broader range of budgets, and may help explain the slightly lower than average concentration of renters in the state. Only 34.0% of Ohio residents rent compared to 35.9% of all Americans.

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46. Arkansas
> Avg. mortgage debt: $143,066
> Homeownership rate: 65.5% (17th lowest)
> Median home value: $136,200 (3rd lowest)
> Homeowners with a mortgage: 53.0% (6th lowest)
> Median household income: $48,952 (3rd lowest)

The average mortgage debt in Arkansas of $143,066 is the fifth lowest of any state and about $86,000 lower than the national average. Residents of Arkansas are also less likely to be financing their home with a mortgage than most other Americans. Only 53% of homeowners in the state have an outstanding mortgage, well below the 61.7% share of homeowners nationwide who do.

Both the low average mortgage debt in Arkansas and the relatively small share of homeowners with a mortgage are likely due in part to lower home values in the state. The typical home in Arkansas is worth $136,200, over $100,000 less than the national median home value of $240,500.

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