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How Many Americans Can’t Afford Their Mortgage?

Over Half of Americans Can’t Afford Their Mortgage

If you had trouble paying your mortgage at some point over the last three years you are not alone. In fact, you are in the majority of Americans.

Housing affordability is a big topic in America. With wages stagnant and building costs rising owning a home has become a real challenge. Here are the details of an informative survey outlining how things really are in homes around America when it comes to paying the mortgage.

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As the housing market slowly recovers, a majority of homeowners and renters are finding it hard to meet rising rents and mortgage payments, new research finds. Over half of Americans (52%) have had to make at least one major sacrifice in order to cover their rent or mortgage over the last three years, according to the “How Housing Matters Survey,” which was commissioned by the nonprofit John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and carried out by Hart Research Associates. These sacrifices include getting a second job, deferring saving for retirement, cutting back on health care, running up credit card debt, or even moving to a less safe neighborhood or one with worse schools.

What’s more, at least 15% of American homeowners (or residents of 78 counties across the country) were living in housing markets where the monthly mortgage payment on a median-priced home requires more than 30% of the monthly median household income — long considered the maximum for rent/mortgage repayments. Housing costs above that threshold are “unaffordable by historic standards,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at real estate data firm RealtyTrac. In New York county/Manhattan, mortgage payments represent 77% of the median income and in San Francisco County represents 70%.
– via MarketWatch

What Is The Average Mortgage Balance In America?

Here is a look at what the average mortgage balance is in the U.S. There are many advantages to owning a home instead of renting. Particularly in today’s market where interest rates are low and rents are rising at a much faster pace than income.

To make the dream of home ownership a reality it’s important to be sure you can afford your mortgage. Here is a look at the average mortgage balance in America.


Here’s how much the average American household owes on its mortgage

What’s particularly interesting about mortgage debt is just how widely it can vary across the country. Based on data provided by Experian’s Decision Analytics Group via Business Insider from 2014, we can discern which areas of the country are hot spots for high mortgages, which portions of the country sport relatively low household mortgage debt, and of course, the average household mortgage debt across the country.

If you’re curious which side of the fence you lie on, the average mortgage balance per household across the United States is $157,154. The highest mortgage balances typically hail from the Northeast or West Coast, with the District of Columbia, Hawaii, and California holding the top spots with average household mortgage balances well above $250,000. By comparison, Maryland’s average household mortgage balance, which ranks as fourth-highest behind California, is nearly a $50,000 drop-off from California.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Ohio River Valley has some of the lowest household mortgage debt balances. West Virginia leads the nation, so to speak, with an average mortgage debt balance of “only” $93,195 per household. Others below $100,000 include Mississippi ($98,230), Indiana ($99,493), and Arkansas ($99,759).
– via The Motley Fool

How does your mortgage stack up against the average mortgage in America? Can you afford your mortgage payment?

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