These States Have the Best ‘Mortgage Health’ in the U.S.

When it comes to which states have the best “mortgage health,” the Midwest and Great Plains regions dominate, according to a recent analysis from NerdWallet.

To determine which states have homeowners who can best handle their mortgages, NerdWallet analyzed data on serious mortgage delinquencies—defined as payments more than 90 days overdue—foreclosure inventories, credit scores and monthly homeowner costs as a percentage of income.

The Great Plains and Midwest commanded the top six states on NerdWallet’s list as places with the best mortgage health score, with North Dakota leading the way.

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The Roughrider State, whose mortgage health score was 98.13, had a serious mortgage delinquency rate of 1.01% and a foreclosure inventory that was 0.43%. Additionally, the state was home to just 12.6% of residents who spend over 35% of their income on housing.

North Dakota was followed closely by its counterpart, South Dakota, whose 88.59 mortgage health score was the result of a low 1.8% delinquency rate and 0.6% foreclosure inventory. Only 17.2% of residents in the Mount Rushmore State spend over 35% of their income on housing.

Ranking third was Nebraska, which reported a score of 87.78; a delinquency rate of 1.96% and foreclosure inventory of 0.42%. Also a factor, state residents spending over 35% of their income on housing was 17.7%.

In assessing credit score, NerdWallet looked at state data for May 2015 from Experian. For serious mortgage delinquency, information was provided by CoreLogic’s January 2015 National Foreclosure Report. CoreLogic was also the source of foreclosure inventory analyzed by NerdWallet as well.

Measuring monthly homeowner costs as a percentage of income, NerdWallet looked at the percentage of homes with monthly homeowner costs that consumed over 35% of the household’s income. These costs include mortgage payments, real estate taxes, insurance, utilities and condo fees. The data source derived from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey.

View the other state rankings in NerdWallet’s analysis.

Written by Jason Oliva

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