Almost 21 million Americans, or 29.3% of homeowners, are free of mortgages and own their homes outright, according to new data by Zillow Inc.
Analyzing data through the third quarter of 2012, Zillow found that 20.6 million homeowners nationwide own their homes free and clear of mortgage debt. Among the nation's 30 largest metro areas included in the study, Pittsburgh (38.6%), Tampa (33.2%), New York (29.7%), Cleveland (29.4%) and Miami (28%) had the highest percentage of free-and-clear homeowners. Washington, D.C., had the lowest percentage, at 15.5%.
Demographic factors, including the age and credit rating of primary borrowers, also influence free and clear homeownership rates. Zillow found that 65- to 74-year-olds are most likely to be free-and-clear (20.5%), followed by 74- to 84-year-olds (17.9%).