US mortgage amounts have increased most in Maryland, according to a survey

In a recent conversation with WTOP’s Mike Murillo, WalletHub analyst Cassandra Happe sheds light on the dynamic mortgage landscape in Maryland. The state witnessed its average mortgage balance swell by 1.23% in the final quarter of 2023, marking the most significant quarterly increase across the United States.

This surge propelled Maryland’s average mortgage balance to just over $283,000, as reported by a study from personal finance titan WalletHub.

While Maryland clinched the top spot for mortgage balance growth, its neighbor Virginia secured the 11th position, showcasing regional trends in mortgage debt accumulation. Notably, the District of Columbia was excluded from this analysis.

This comprehensive study spanned all 50 states, delving into mortgage debt fluctuations between the third and fourth quarters of 2023. It also examined average mortgage balances and monthly payments as of the fourth quarter of 2023, providing a snapshot of the current state of homeownership and lending in the country.

Happe expressed a nuanced view on Maryland’s distinction, suggesting that the spike in mortgage balances could signal a rejuvenated housing market in the state, driven by an increase in home purchases.

Additionally, she speculated that homeowners might be refinancing their mortgages not only to benefit from better loan terms but also to extract equity for home improvements. This trend underscores the multifaceted motivations behind refinancing activities, ranging from enhancing property value to navigating financial pressures.

Refinancing for equity extraction, as Happe notes, might also serve as a financial strategy for homeowners grappling with rising living costs and escalating debts across other sectors, such as credit card liabilities. The backdrop of surging interest rates across various lending products further complicates the financial landscape for consumers.

Maryland’s notable ranking extends beyond mortgage balances to the realm of monthly mortgage payments. The state stands eighth nationwide, with an average mortgage payment of $2,145, juxtaposed with Virginia’s $2,009 average.

Although the difference may seem modest on a monthly basis, Happe emphasizes the long-term financial implications, highlighting the substantial cumulative impact over time.

This study’s insights into Maryland’s mortgage market reveal not only the state’s leading position in mortgage balance growth but also the broader economic and consumer behaviors influencing the housing and finance sectors.

Comments are closed.