Jan 5, 2024 - News

A look at Austin's mortgage-free homes

Data: Census Bureau; Note: Data unavailable in 2020; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Census Bureau; Note: Data unavailable in 2020; Chart: Axios Visuals

Nearly one-third of Austin homes were owned outright in 2022, up almost 2% from 2017, according to the latest Census Bureau data.

  • That's compared to nearly 40% nationally, the highest share since 2005.

Why it matters: This means some people aren't worrying about high mortgage rates.

Driving the news: Many free-and-clear homeowners are baby boomers who refinanced their mortgages when rates were lower, Bloomberg reports.

Plus: Cash buying was en vogue during the Austin real estate market feeding frenzy of the pandemic times.

Between the lines: There can be a psychological perk to paying off a loan early, but according to some personal finance experts, it could be smarter to invest that money instead.

  • "If people derive some intrinsic happiness out of paying off their mortgage because it reduces their stress, then that has value," Michael Roberts, a Wharton School finance professor, tells Bloomberg.

What we're watching: Mortgage-rate humble brags. Major forecasts predict rates will dip in 2024, but those with 3% rates likely got the interest rate of a lifetime.

Go deeper: Pending home sales neared record low in October as mortgages approached 8%

avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Austin.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Austin stories

No stories could be found

Austinpostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Austin.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more