Our nation’s capital is also the nation’s mortgage capital.

A LawnStarter analysis of newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows the Washington, DC, metro area had the highest share of homes with mortgages (78.1 percent) among the 100 largest metro areas in 2015. In the DC area, owners of more than 1 million homes had mortgages last year.

Mortgage Debt in DC

Steven Centrella, a Redfin real estate agent who works in the DC market, attributes the high percentage of mortgaged homes, in part, to the region’s transient population — including a sizable number of millennial transplants.

“DC is not a large market for retirees or downsizers who may be more likely to own their homes outright,” Centrella says. “And while there are lifetime Washingtonians, of course, a large percentage of the home-buying population has moved here from somewhere else for job and educational opportunities. Many of these residents will not live in DC forever and will purchase a home without the intention of owning it for 30 or more years.”

DC-houses

A local real estate agent says the Washington, DC, home market is healthy.
Photo: Pixabay

Additionally, he says, high home prices and high living expenses in the DC area preclude some people from buying a home unless they take out a mortgage.

Despite those financial constraints, Centrella says the DC area weathered the recent housing collapse pretty well, and boasts a healthy economy and robust housing market.

“The fact that people continue to move here and our market is growing is good news for the region’s housing market,” he says.

Most Mortgaged Metros

Based on our review of data from the Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey, here are the 14 Most Mortgaged Metros in America.

1. Washington, DC

Washington DC

Photo: Pixabay

Number of owner-occupied homes: 1,352,332
Number of owner-occupied homes with mortgage: 1,069,934
Percentage of owner-occupied homes with mortgage: 79.118%

2. Denver, CO

Denver CO

Photo: Allstate Blog

Number of owner-occupied homes: 677,167
Number of owner-occupied homes with mortgage: 515,339
Percentage of owner-occupied homes with mortgage: 76.102%

3. Raleigh, NC

Raleigh NC

Photo: Great American Country

Number of owner-occupied homes: 303,885
Number of owner-occupied homes with mortgage: 229,349
Percentage of owner-occupied homes with mortgage: 75.472%

4. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA

Thousand Oaks CA

Photo: Conejo Valley Guy

Number of owner-occupied homes: 170,602
Number of owner-occupied homes with mortgage: 127,747
Percentage of owner-occupied homes with mortgage: 74.880%

5. Colorado Springs, CO

Colorado Springs CO

Photo: Circa Real Estate Group

Number of owner-occupied homes: 161,617
Number of owner-occupied homes with mortgage: 120,943
Percentage of owner-occupied homes with mortgage: 74.833%

6. Provo-Orem, UT

Provo homes

Photo: Provo Insider

Number of owner-occupied homes: 106,725
Number of owner-occupied homes with mortgage: 78,739
Percentage of owner-occupied homes with mortgage: 73.777%

7. Atlanta, GA

Atlanta GA

Photo: Buckhead.com

Number of owner-occupied homes: 1,248,726
Number of owner-occupied homes with mortgage: 919,180
Percentage of owner-occupied homes with mortgage: 73.609%

8. Seattle, WA

Seattle homes

Photo: Movoto

Number of owner-occupied homes: 861,541
Number of owner-occupied homes with mortgage: 632,110
Percentage of owner-occupied homes with mortgage: 73.370%

9. Indianapolis, IN

Indianapolis homes

Photo: Downtown Indy

Number of owner-occupied homes: 484,654
Number of owner-occupied homes with mortgage: 352,902
Percentage of owner-occupied homes with mortgage: 72.815%

10. Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA

Norfolk homes

Photo: Stateline Realty

Number of owner-occupied homes: 388,768
Number of owner-occupied homes with mortgage: 283,044
Percentage of owner-occupied homes with mortgage: 72.805%

11. San Francisco, CA

San Francisco homes

Photo: San Francisco Travel

Number of owner-occupied homes: 903,500
Number of owner-occupied homes with mortgage: 656,117
Percentage of owner-occupied homes with mortgage: 72.619%

12. Portland, OR

Portland OR homes

Photo: Portland Property Management

Number of owner-occupied homes: 550,790
Number of owner-occupied homes with mortgage: 399,066
Percentage of owner-occupied homes with mortgage: 72.453%

13. Sacramento, CA

Sacramento homes

Photo: City of Sacramento

Number of owner-occupied homes: 474,156
Number of owner-occupied homes with mortgage: 343,477
Percentage of owner-occupied homes with mortgage: 72.440%

14. Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City homes

Photo: Move.org

Number of owner-occupied homes: 249,644
Number of owner-occupied homes with mortgage: 180,785
Percentage of owner-occupied homes with mortgage: 72.417%

Photo: Pixabay

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