Thought this was interesting – Seattle seems to be carrying quite hefty mortgages.  I think Tacoma is better off, but as always – trends in Seattle can sometimes impact us. 

New LendingTree study ranks cities by the share of homeowners without mortgage debt obligations.

Many U.S. property owners dream of the day they shed the mortgage, owning their homes outright. Reaching this milestone means not only skipping the monthly payment but achieving what is perhaps a lifelong goal of asset accumulation. LendingTree ranks U.S. cities by the proportion of such homeowners who are free and clear.

As home prices rise, these homeowners receive the full benefits and see their wealth accumulate. This wealth accumulation boosts consumer spending via the wealth effect, making for more dynamic economies.

Homeowners who do not have mortgage debt can decide if and how they want to access this wealth, perhaps by taking out a loan to address life needs, and are generally better able to absorb financial shocks. The Federal Reserve’s measure of how much wealth households have in real estate equity has climbed from a $6-trillion level nine years ago to about $15 trillion in 2018.

Read the full story here.