Average Mortgage Debt Tops $202K

In more places, homeowners are carrying supersized mortgages. Outstanding mortgage balances rose nationwide for the seventh consecutive quarter and reached a new high of $9.5 trillion, according to first-quarter data from Experian.

“While mortgage debt numbers could be a cause for concern as buyers increasingly leverage their finances to purchase homes, other signs show they are more responsible with their mortgage debt than in years past,” Experian’s Matt Tatham notes in the report. Lower mortgage rates are making borrowing less expensive. Also, mortgage delinquency rates have steadily decreased since 2009, which means more borrowers are making on-time payments.

On average, the U.S. mortgage debt per borrower for the first quarter was $202,284, a 2.4% annual increase for 2019, Experian reports. The average sales price for new homes has risen 46% over the past decade.

Some homeowners are carrying much higher mortgage debt. For example, homeowners in Washington, D.C., averaged the highest mortgage debt in the country for the second year at $416,848 per borrower. California ranked second (at $363,537), followed by Hawaii ($344,819), Washington state ($262,641), and Colorado ($258,026).

The states with the lowest mortgage debt are West Virginia (owing on average $110,729), Indiana ($120,354), Mississippi ($121,608), Ohio ($122,765), and Kentucky ($126,310).




Mortgage debt in Louisiana has been rising faster than any other state over the past year, according to the study. The state posted a 4% increase in mortgage debt in the first quarter of this year. Texas, Utah, and Colorado followed, at 3.6% and both 3.2%, respectively.

California had the highest number of metros—at eight—in the top 10 metros for highest mortgage debt in the country. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa-Clara, Calif., had the highest average mortgage debt nationwide at $519,576, followed by San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif.; Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, Calif.; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif.; and Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Calif.

Meanwhile, homeowners in Danville, Ill., owed the least on their homes, with an average $70,964 in mortgage debt in the first quarter of this year. Rounding out the top five for metros with the lowest mortgage debt were: Johnstown, Pa. ($71,269); Weirton-Steubenville, W.Va.-Ohio ($75,878); Terre Haute, Ind. ($79,281); and Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa. ($84,664).

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