Special Report

States With the Most Mortgage Debt

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45. Kentucky
> Avg. mortgage debt: $143,329
> Homeownership rate: 67.0% (22nd highest)
> Median home value: $151,700 (5th lowest)
> Homeowners with a mortgage: 56.9% (13th lowest)
> Median household income: $52,295 (7th lowest)

The average mortgage debt in Kentucky is $143,329 — the sixth lowest amount of any state. Mortgage debts tend to be lower in places where home values are also low, and in Kentucky, the typical home is worth just $151,700, the fifth 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 Kentucky, so too are incomes. The typical household in the state earns $52,295 a year, less than in all but six other states and well below the national median household income of $65,712.

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44. Iowa
> Avg. mortgage debt: $146,408
> Homeownership rate: 70.5% (10th highest)
> Median home value: $158,900 (9th lowest)
> Homeowners with a mortgage: 59.9% (22nd lowest)
> Median household income: $61,691 (21st lowest)

Iowa is one of only eight states where the average mortgage debt is less than $150,000. The low mortgage debt is likely partially the result of the state’s relatively affordable housing market. The typical home in Iowa is worth $158,900, only 2.6 times more than the state’s median household income of $61,691. Meanwhile, nationwide, the comparable affordability ratio is far higher, at 3.7-to-1.

Affordable housing also likely explains the widespread homeownership in the state. Iowa’s homeownership rate of 70.5% is 10th highest among states and well above the 64.1% national rate.

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43. Oklahoma
> Avg. mortgage debt: $147,538
> Homeownership rate: 65.5% (18th lowest)
> Median home value: $147,000 (4th lowest)
> Homeowners with a mortgage: 54.4% (7th lowest)
> Median household income: $54,449 (8th lowest)

Oklahoma is one of only four states where most homes are worth less than $150,000. Due in part to relatively low home values, mortgage debt in Oklahoma is also relatively low, averaging just $147,538.

Home values are typically a reflection of what area residents can afford, and just as home values are low in Oklahoma, so too are incomes. The typical household in the state earns $54,449 a year, less than in most other states and well below the national median household income of $65,712.

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42. Michigan
> Avg. mortgage debt: $150,482
> Homeownership rate: 71.6% (5th highest)
> Median home value: $169,600 (12th lowest)
> Homeowners with a mortgage: 59.3% (19th lowest)
> Median household income: $59,584 (19th lowest)

The average homeowner with a mortgage in Michigan has $150,482 in outstanding mortgage liabilities — the ninth lowest amount of any state. The relatively low mortgage debt is likely partially the result of the state’s affordable housing market. The typical home in Michigan is worth $169,600, only 2.8 times more than the state’s median household income of $59,584. Meanwhile, the affordability ratio nationwide is far higher, at 3.7-to-1.

Affordable housing also likely explains the widespread homeownership in the state. Michigan’s homeownership rate of 71.6% is fifth highest among states and well above the 64.1% national rate.

41. Missouri
> Avg. mortgage debt: $155,203
> Homeownership rate: 67.1% (21st highest)
> Median home value: $168,000 (11th lowest)
> Homeowners with a mortgage: 60.2% (23rd lowest)
> Median household income: $57,409 (13th lowest)

The typical home in Missouri is worth $168,000, about $72,500 less than the median home value nationwide. Lower home values mean that homeowners borrow less. The average mortgage debt in Missouri is $155,203, one of the lowest averages among states.

Home values are typically a reflection of what area residents can afford, and just as home values are low in Missouri, so too are incomes. The typical household in the state earns $57,409 a year, less than in most other states and well below the national median household income of $65,712.

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