Seniors Most Likely to Have No Mortgage Debt: Zillow

Of the 20.6 million Americans who downright own their homes, seniors were found most likely to be unencumbered by a mortgage, according to recent data collected by Zillow. 

Collecting data among the nation’s 30 largest metro areas and looking at demographic factor such as age and credit rating, the study revealed seniors represent a vast majority of debt-free homeowners.

The nearly 21 million Americans who own their homes account for 29.3% of all homeowners, notes Zillow. Seniors ages 60-85+ represent 59.1% of these mortgage debt cleared homeowners, according to elaborated data disclosed to RMD on percentages across age groups.

Seniors ages 65-74 are most likely to be free-and-clear, accounting for 20.5%. Coming in at second are seniors ages 75-84 at 17.9%.

Next in rank is the 60-64 year old age group at 10.5%, which is closely followed by seniors ages 85+ who represent 10.2%of mortgage debt-free homeowners.

Influencing the numbers, Zillow believes, could be the attributed to the longer someone owns a home, then the longer they have to pay off a mortgage. 

When analyzing free-and-clear homeownership rates among age groups, Zillow found that younger mortgage cleared homeowners accounted for considerably less than that of seniors, with 20-24 year olds representing 34.5%.

Among the 30 largest metro areas, Pittsburgh (38.6%), Tampa (33.2%) and New York (29.7%) had the highest percentage of mortgage debt-free homeowners. 

The lowest percentages were had by Washington D.C. (15.5%), Atlanta (17.7%) and Las Vegas (18.3%).

While Zillow’s data focuses mainly on debt-free homeowners, the indebted American homeowners are just as important for housing’s bigger picture. 

“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,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. “By determining where these homeowners are located, we can also gain insight into potential inventory and demand in those areas, as well.”

Written by Jason Oliva

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