New Report Claims Almost a Third of Americans are Mortgage Free

There’s a pocket of the country no longer affected by housing fears, largely because they have paid off their home obligation, according to a recent report.

Nearly one-third of the country, 29 percent, can call their homes their own, according to Zillow, a real estate services site. That makes 20.6 million people the permanent owners of their property.

The demographics of those homeowners aren’t particularly surprising. Retirees make up the highest bloc of mortgage free homeowners with 20.5 percent of them having paid off their mortgage debt. The next age group, those between the ages of 74-84, were more likely to own their homes outright. Around 17.9 percent of this age group were mortgage free.

Good credit also played an important factor in paying off mortgages. Those with scores between 800-900 made up 44 percent of homeowners, and those with pristine credit — scores between 900 and 990 — made up 15.5 percent who own their home without obligation.

“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,” Zillow chief economist Dr. Stan Humphries said in a statement. “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.”

Pittsburgh has the highest rate of mortgage-free homeownership at 38.6 percent while those living in Charlotte have the lowest rate of those living without a mortgage at 20 percent.

Click here for the report.