Feb 7, 2024 - News

Mortgage-free homeowners on the rise in Phoenix

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

Nearly 34% of Valley homes were owned outright in 2022, up from about 32% in 2017, according to the latest census data.

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

Why it matters: Some people aren't feeling the heartburn of higher interest rates and have more flexibility in their finances.

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

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 humblebrags. Major forecasts predict rates will dip in 2024, but those 3%ers likely got the interest rate of a lifetime.

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