Press Releases

20.6 Million U.S. Homeowners Own Homes Free And Clear Of Mortgage Debt

Pittsburgh, Tampa and New York Top Metros For Free-And-Clear Homeownership; Age, Credit Score and Local Home Values Help Influence Ratios Of Debt-Free Homeowners

SEATTLE, Jan. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Almost 21 million Americans, or 29.3 percent of homeowners, own their homes outright, unencumbered by a mortgage, according to a recent Zillow® analysis of mortgage data.

Analyzing data through the third quarter of 2012, Zillow found that 20.6 million homeowners nationwide own their homes free and clear of mortgage debt.

Among the nation's 30 largest metro areas included in the study, Pittsburgh (38.6 percent), Tampa (33.2 percent), New York (29.7 percent), Cleveland (29.4 percent) and Miami (28.9 percent) had the highest percentage of free-and-clear homeowners. Washington, D.C. (15.5 percent), Atlanta (17.7 percent), Las Vegas (18.3 percent), Denver (18.5 percent) and Charlotte (20 percent) had the lowest percentage.

A number of elements influence the percentage of free-and-clear homeowners in a given area, including median home values. Zillow found that areas with lower home values generally have higher outright homeownership rates, as smaller loan amounts are easier to pay back more quickly.

Demographic factors including the age and credit rating of primary borrowers also influence free-and-clear homeownership rates. Zillow found that 65- to 74-year-olds are most likely to be free-and-clear (20.5 percent), followed by 74- to 84-year-olds (17.9 percent). This is attributed to the fact that the longer someone owns a home, the longer they have to pay off their mortgage. Interestingly, when examining free-and-clear ownership rates as a percentage of homeowners in various age groups, Zillow found 34.5 percent of 20- to 24-year-old homeowners are free of mortgages.

Among homeowners who own their homes outright, 44 percent have a high VantageScore – representing their credit rating – between 800 and 900. Only 15.5 percent of homeowners with the highest credit rating of 900-990 are free-and-clear.

"So far we have used our unique data on how much homeowners owe on their homes primarily to identify underwater and delinquent groups of homeowners," said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. "But looking at those homeowners who are free-and-clear is important, too. Homeowners unencumbered by a mortgage may be more flexible than indebted homeowners, and therefore more apt or willing to list their homes or enter the market for a new property. By determining where these homeowners are located, we can also gain insight into potential inventory and demand in those areas, as well."

Zillow's analysis incorporates mortgage data from TransUnion®, a global leader in credit and information management. All personally identifying information is removed from the data by TransUnion before delivery to Zillow. Overall, the data covers more than 800 metro areas, 2,100 counties and 21,900 ZIP codes nationwide. To calculate the free-and-clear homeownership rate, we compute the number of overall homeowners and number of homeowners with no outstanding mortgage debt by location and demographics. We exclude investor and rental homes.

METRO

FREE-&-CLEAR
HOMEOWNERSHIP RATE

METRO

FREE-&-CLEAR
HOMEOWNERSHIP RATE

New York

29.7%

San Diego

21.5%

Los Angeles

20.7%

Tampa

33.2%

Chicago

23.8%

St. Louis

27.2%

Dallas-Fort Worth

24.5%

Baltimore

22.5%

Philadelphia

27.6%

Denver

18.5%

Washington, DC

15.5%

Pittsburgh

38.6%

Miami-Fort Lauderdale

28.9%

Portland

21.8%

Atlanta

17.7%

Sacramento

21.5%

Boston

24.6%

Orlando

24.6%

San Francisco

21.8%

Cincinnati

23.7%

Detroit

28.8%

Cleveland

29.4%

Riverside, Calif.

20.6%

Las Vegas

18.3%

Phoenix

22.9%

San Jose, Calif.

22.1%

Seattle

21.0%

Columbus, Ohio

21.7%

Minneapolis-St Paul

20.6%

Charlotte, NC

20.0%

For more data on free-and-clear homeownership, including data at the state, metro and county levels broken down by homeowners' age and credit rating, please see the full research brief or contact press@zillow.com.

About Zillow:
Zillow (NASDAQ: Z) is the leading real estate information marketplace, providing vital information about homes, real estate listings and mortgages through its website and mobile applications, enabling homeowners, buyers, sellers and renters to connect with real estate and mortgage professionals best suited to meet their needs. In addition, Zillow operates an industry-leading economics and analytics bureau led by Zillow's Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. Dr. Humphries and his team of economists and data analysts produce extensive housing data and research covering more than 350 markets at Zillow Real Estate Research. Zillow, Inc. operates Zillow.com®, Zillow Mortgage Marketplace,  Zillow Rentals, Zillow Mobile, Postlets®, Diverse Solutions®, Buyfolio™, Mortech™ and HotPads™. The company is headquartered in Seattle.

Zillow.com, Zillow, Postlets and Diverse Solutions are registered trademarks of Zillow, Inc. Buyfolio, Mortech and HotPads are trademarks of Zillow, Inc.

TransUnion is a registered trademark of Trans Union, LLC.

SOURCE Zillow


 Email Page    Print
Search Press Room