The COVID-19 pandemic fueled a surge in demand among homebuyers that is only now beginning to show signs of slowing. This historic demand coincided with low borrowing costs, limited housing inventory, and labor and materials bottlenecks that have been hampering new construction. These factors have pushed home values to all time highs, forcing many buyers to take on mortgages that put them deep in debt.

According to a recent report from Experian, a consumer credit reporting company, American homeowners with a mortgage had an average unpaid balance of $229,242 in 2020. Mortgage debt can be impacted by multiple regional factors, and as a result, the amount of debt American homeowners are paying down varies considerably by state.

The median home value in Oregon of $354,600 is higher than in all but five other states nationwide. With higher home values, many in the state need to borrow more to afford homeownership. Partially as a result, average mortgage debt in Oregon stands at $261,147, about $31,900 more than the national average.

High home values may partially explain why Oregon residents are more likely to rent than the typical American. Oregon's homeownership rate of 62.9% is lower than most other states and the 64.1% national rate.

All mortgage debt data used in this story from the 2020 State of Credit Report by Experian, a consumer reporting agency. Average mortgage debt is a measure of the average first mortgage balance per consumer who had an open first mortgage account. Figures for median home value, median household income, homeownership rates, and the share of owner-occupied households with a mortgage came from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2019 American Community Survey.

 

RankStateAverage mortgage debt ($)Median home value ($)Median household income ($)Homeowners with a mortgage (%)
50West Virginia128,004124,60048,85046.4
49Mississippi135,374128,20045,79249.1
48Indiana140,915156,00057,60365.2
47Ohio142,293157,20058,64262.1
46Arkansas143,066136,20048,95253.0
45Kentucky143,329151,70052,29556.9
44Iowa146,408158,90061,69159.9
43Oklahoma147,538147,00054,44954.4
42Michigan150,482169,60059,58459.3
41Missouri155,203168,00057,40960.2
40Kansas155,277163,20062,08757.9
39Nebraska156,568172,70063,22959.5
38Wisconsin160,116197,20064,16862.7
37Alabama160,341154,00051,73455.3
36Louisiana165,572172,10051,07351.7
35Maine167,615200,50058,92460.5
34Vermont172,919233,20063,00161.7
33South Dakota173,005185,00059,53355.6
32New Mexico174,292180,90051,94552.9
31Pennsylvania175,648192,60063,46359.1
30North Dakota181,930205,40064,57752.1
29South Carolina183,603179,80056,22758.0
28Tennessee184,360191,90056,07158.2
27North Carolina188,520193,20057,34163.2
26Illinois189,808209,10069,18762.4
25Georgia196,030202,50061,98064.2
24Minnesota198,039246,70074,59365.1
23Texas201,084200,40064,03456.1
22Montana206,561253,60057,15355.4
21New Hampshire208,570281,40077,93364.9
20Idaho208,645255,20060,99964.3
19Wyoming208,716235,20065,00359.2
18Delaware210,933261,70070,17665.5
17Florida214,203245,10059,22756.3
16Rhode Island217,019283,00071,16966.3
15Arizona229,332255,90062,05562.4
14Alaska244,840281,20075,46360.8
13Connecticut247,241280,70078,83366.2
12Nevada253,602317,80063,27667.4
11Utah258,635330,30075,78070.1
10Oregon261,147354,60067,05866.1
9Virginia269,570288,80076,45667.7
8New Jersey270,329348,80085,75165.6
7Maryland274,311332,50086,73871.9
6New York274,349338,70072,10859.6
5Massachusetts292,513418,60085,84368.3
4Colorado297,813394,60077,12770.8
3Washington307,407387,60078,68767.7
2Hawaii387,977669,20083,10264.4
1California396,229568,50080,44069.0