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Mortgage loans are the largest type of consumer debt in the U.S. and in the first quarter of 2019 reached a record total of $9.5 trillion. Driven by a significant expansion in the housing market over many decades, the median home value has more than doubled from $111,100 in 1999 to $231,000 in 2019.
With some homes valued at twice what they were 20 years ago, more and more consumers are putting off buying a home or, in some states and cities, avoiding the homebuying process altogether.
As part of our ongoing look at the housing market in the U.S., Experian analyzed housing data from online real estate marketplace Zillow to find out which states had the highest and lowest rental home values, and compared those values with mortgage debt in each state.
Using Zillow data, we looked at each state's median home value as of September 2019 and how it compared with the state's average FICO® Score☉ , average estimated income and average outstanding mortgage balance. Consumer debt and credit records in this analysis are based on Experian data from the second quarter (Q2) of 2019. Read on for our insights and analysis.
|Median Home Values Across the U.S.|
|State||Average FICO® Score||Median Home Value||Average Outstanding Mortgage Amount||Difference Between Value and Mortgage Balance|
|District of Columbia||703||$567,800||$421,499||$146,301|
1) FICO® Score data from Experian, Q2 2019
2) Median home value and average outstanding mortgage amount from Zillow Housing Data, September 2019
Home Values in Hawaii Are Significantly Higher Than Outstanding Mortgage Balances
In Hawaii—the state with the highest median home value of $619,000—the outstanding average mortgage amount was $345,963 or 44% lower than the estimated home value. This could show that Hawaiians are paying down their mortgages at a rapid pace, but could also be a product of the island's desirability among tourists, vacationers and wealthy mainland homebuyers who are driving up home prices.
In addition to having the highest home values, Hawaii also had an average credit score and estimated income that were in the top 20th percentile of all states. The state's average FICO® Score was 723 in Q2 2019 and their estimated average income was $89,139, according to Experian data.
West Virginia Home Values Are Lower Than Average Outstanding Mortgage Balances
While most states' median home values were higher than their average mortgage debt, this was not true in West Virginia, where the state's median home value was 12% less than the average amount borrowers owed on their mortgages.
West Virginia's median home value was $99,000 in September 2019. But the state's average mortgage balance was $110,464—nearly $12,000 more than the estimated median value. This could mean that West Virginia homeowners are struggling to pay back their mortgage debt, and also could indicate that houses are quickly losing value in the state.
West Virginia was also the state where the average income was the lowest, with consumers making an estimated $59,999 annually, according to Experian data.
Differences in Outstanding Mortgage and Home Values Largest in States With Top Incomes
In areas where average outstanding mortgage balances were notably lower than median home values, average incomes were often some of the highest in the nation. Four of the top five states with the largest difference between home value and mortgage debt also had estimated incomes that were in the top 20% of all states.
Of these top five states, the District of Columbia had the highest average estimated income of $94,951 as of Q2 2019, according to Experian. Massachusetts had the second-highest of $93,021, Hawaii came next with an average income of $89,139, and California was the fourth state with $85,750.
Credit Scores Lowest Where Outstanding Mortgage Debt Is Higher Than Home Values
In three out of the four states that had average mortgage balances that were higher than median home values, average FICO® Scores were in the bottom 20th percentile of all states. Oklahoma, Alabama and Louisiana all had average scores that were among the top 10 lowest of any state in the nation.
These states had some of the lowest scores in the country, with averages significantly below the national average FICO® Score of 703 in Q2 2019, according to Experian data.
Median home values and average mortgage balances in this analysis were used only to give an approximate comparison between the two metrics. Results from other analyses may vary depending on the specific metrics used to evaluate the most fair and accurate home values and outstanding mortgage amounts.
Methodology: The analysis results provided are based on an Experian-created statistically relevant aggregate sampling of our consumer credit database that may include use of the FICO® Score 8 version. Different sampling parameters may generate different findings compared with other similar analysis. Analyzed credit data did not contain personal identification information. Metro areas group counties and cities into specific geographic areas for population censuses and compilations of related statistical data.
FICO® is a registered trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.