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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

San Diego metro area has sixth-highest mortgage debt among major U.S. regions

The top 10 includes eight major metro regions in California, a reflection of California having the most average mortgage debt in the country among official states.
Credit: KFMB

The San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos market had the sixth-highest average mortgage debt in the country among major metro areas in the year's first quarter, according to data released today by the consumer credit reporting company Experian.

The San Diego region ranked sixth with an average of $386,530 owed per homeowner. That average is a 2% increase over the San Diego metro area's debt last year, which averaged $378,975 per homeowner in 2018's first quarter. San Diego was one of seven of the top 10 metro areas with the highest debt to show an increase over their 2018 first quarter averages.

The top 10 includes eight major metro regions in California, a reflection of California having the most average mortgage debt in the country among official states during the first quarter at $363,537 per borrower. Only the Washington, D.C., area outranked California at an average of $418,555.

The San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara region led all major metro markets in the country with an average $519,576 per homeowner, a 3.9% increase over the region's Q1 2018 average. The San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Santa Barbara- Santa Maria-Goleta, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana and Santa Cruz-Watsonville markets rounded out the top five.

Combined mortgage debt in the U.S. rose in the first quarter each of the last six years, according to Experian. Mortgage debt in 2019's first quarter totaled $9.5 trillion while average mortgage debt per homeowner increased to more than $200,000, its highest point over the last five years.

"While mortgage debt numbers could be a cause for concern as buyers increasingly leverage their finances to purchases homes, other signs show they are more responsible with their mortgage debt than in years past," Experian data analyst Matt Tatham wrote in a blog post regarding the company's data. "And for consumers just starting their homebuying search, low interest rates and available inventory could make their search more rewarding, depending on local market conditions."