Special Report

States With the Most Mortgage Debt

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30. North Dakota
> Avg. mortgage debt: $181,930
> Homeownership rate: 61.3% (5th lowest)
> Median home value: $205,400 (25th lowest)
> Homeowners with a mortgage: 52.1% (4th lowest)
> Median household income: $64,577 (20th highest)

The average mortgage debt in North Dakota is just $181,930, less than in most other states. Not only do homeowners in North Dakota have a lower than average debt burden, but they are also less likely to be paying a mortgage at all. Only 52.1% of homeowners in the state are paying a mortgage, well below the 61.7% share of homeowners nationwide.

As is typically the case in states with relatively low average mortgage debt, North Dakota has lower than average home values. The typical home in the state is worth $205,400, about $35,100 less than the national median home value.

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29. South Carolina
> Avg. mortgage debt: $183,603
> Homeownership rate: 70.3% (12th highest)
> Median home value: $179,800 (15th lowest)
> Homeowners with a mortgage: 58.0% (15th lowest)
> Median household income: $56,227 (10th lowest)

South Carolina is one of only a handful of states where the average mortgage debt exceeds the median home value. The typical home in the state is worth $179,800, while the average mortgage debt stands at $183,603.

South Carolina residents are more likely than average to live in their own home than rent. The state’s homeownership rate of 70.3% is higher than most states and the comparable 64.1% national homeownership rate.

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28. Tennessee
> Avg. mortgage debt: $184,360
> Homeownership rate: 66.5% (24th highest)
> Median home value: $191,900 (18th lowest)
> Homeowners with a mortgage: 58.2% (16th lowest)
> Median household income: $56,071 (9th lowest)

The average mortgage debt in Tennessee is $184,360, less than in most other states. Not only do homeowners in Tennessee have a lower than average debt burden, but they are also less likely to be paying a mortgage at all. Only 58.2% of homeowners in the state are paying a mortgage, compared to the 61.7% share of homeowners nationwide.

As is typically the case in states with relatively low average mortgage debt, Tennessee has lower than average home values. The typical home in the state is worth $191,900, about $48,600 less than the national median home value.

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27. North Carolina
> Avg. mortgage debt: $188,520
> Homeownership rate: 65.3% (16th lowest)
> Median home value: $193,200 (20th lowest)
> Homeowners with a mortgage: 63.2% (20th highest)
> Median household income: $57,341 (12th lowest)

About half of all states have an average mortgage debt below $190,000, and North Carolina is among them, with an average mortgage debt of $188,520. The median home value in North Carolina is also lower than average, at $193,200 — about $47,300 below the national median.

North Carolina residents are about as likely as the typical American to own their home. The state’s homeownership rate of 65.3% is closely in line with the 64.1% national rate.

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26. Illinois
> Avg. mortgage debt: $189,808
> Homeownership rate: 66.0% (20th lowest)
> Median home value: $209,100 (25th highest)
> Homeowners with a mortgage: 62.4% (22nd highest)
> Median household income: $69,187 (17th highest)

An estimated 62.4% of homeowners in Illinois have a mortgage, and the average debt among them is $189,808 — about $39,400 less than the national average.

Homes in Illinois are relatively affordable compared to much of the rest of the country. The typical home is worth $209,100, only 3.0 times more than the state’s median household income of $69,187. Meanwhile, the comparable affordability ratio nationwide is far higher, at 3.7-to-1.

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