Nearly 10 million U.S. homeowners who are 65 or older still have a mortgage. And in three cities — Miami, Los Angeles and Sacramento, California — the percentage of such homeowners is especially high, according to a new LendingTree analysis.
In fact, in each of those cities, nearly one-quarter of homeowners 65 and older have a mortgage.
LendingTree analyzed U.S. Census Bureau data from the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas to find the places where seniors are most likely to still make monthly mortgage payments. Across those metro areas, an average of 18.91% of homeowners 65 and older have not paid off their mortgage.
Broken down by metro area, the percentage of those 65 and older who still make home loan payments are as follows:
- Miami: 24.25%
- Los Angeles: 23.5%
- Sacramento, California: 23.15%
- Las Vegas: 22.99%
- San Francisco: 22.86%
- Phoenix: 22.69%
- San Diego: 22.62%
- Birmingham, Alabama: 22.27%
- Tampa, Florida: 22.08%
- Virginia Beach, Virginia: 22.06%
In other metro areas, the percentage of seniors who still have a loan is lower.
The Texas cities of Houston, Austin and Dallas top the list of U.S. metros with the smallest share of homeowners 65 and older who still have a mortgage. In Houston, the percentage is just 13.2%. In Austin, it is 13.85%. In Dallas, it is 14.07%.
LendingTree notes that many financial experts urge people to pay off their mortgage prior to retiring. However, that does not mean seniors should be afraid to take on mortgage debt. As LendingTree says:
“Because people with stronger credit scores and more cash that can be used for a down payment tend to end up with better rates and smaller monthly payments than those with less cash or worse credit scores, older Americans who get a mortgage could find that paying off their loan isn’t as challenging as they feared.”