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States With The Highest And Lowest Monthly Mortgage Costs

The coronavirus pandemic has left many Americans without a reliable source of income and concerns about how to pay their mortgage in this unprecedented financial environment. Borrowers in states with the highest relative mortgage payments will likely struggle the most in the wake of COVID-19 as homeowners lose their jobs and risk default, foreclosure and huge debt loads.

A new federal law, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, puts in place two protections for homeowners with federally backed mortgages: A foreclosure moratorium and a right to forbearance for homeowners who are experiencing a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency.

Homeowners who don’t have a federally backed mortgage still may have relief options through their mortgage servicers or from their state.

To see where monthly mortgage costs are highest, the team at LendingTree, the country’s largest online lending marketplace, looked at the average mortgage payment offered through 2019 to LendingTree users in every state. It also studied the ratio of household income before the crisis hit to monthly mortgage payments in each state to determine where mortgages are the most expensive, relative to income.

Mortgage payments are the most expensive in Hawaii, California and New York. The average monthly mortgage payment in these states is $1,684. That’s $525 more a month than the national average of $1,159.

Mortgage payments are the least expensive in Iowa, Indiana and Arkansas. In these states, the average monthly mortgage payment is $978. This is $706 less than the cost in the top three most expensive states and lower than the national average by $181.

Hawaii, Mississippi and Idaho are the states where the average monthly mortgage payment is the highest relative to average household income. In these three states, the average mortgage accounts for 18.9% of the average household’s total monthly income, 2.5 percentage points higher than the national average of 16.4%.

The ratio of mortgage payments to income is the lowest in Connecticut, New Hampshire and Minnesota. In these three states, mortgage costs amount to only 13.2% of the average monthly household income.

States with the highest average monthly mortgage payments

No. 1: Hawaii

Average monthly mortgage payment: $1,780

Difference between state mortgage payment and national average: $621

Average monthly income (homeowners): $9,084

Mortgage payment as a percentage of income: 19.6%

No. 2: California

Average monthly mortgage payment: $1,696

Difference between state mortgage payment and national average: $537

Average monthly income (homeowners): $9,165

Mortgage payment as a percentage of income: 18.5%

No. 3: New York

Average monthly mortgage payment: $1,575

Difference between state mortgage payment and national average: $416

Average monthly income (homeowners): $8,459

Mortgage payment as a percentage of income: 18.6%

States with the lowest average monthly mortgage payments

No. 1: Iowa

Average monthly mortgage payment: $970

Difference between state mortgage payment and national average: -$189

Average monthly income (homeowners): $6,622

Mortgage payment as a percentage of income: 14.6%

No. 2: Indiana

Average monthly mortgage payment: $980

Difference between state mortgage payment and national average: -$179

Average monthly income (homeowners): $6,355

Mortgage payment as a percentage of income: 15.4%

No. 3: Arkansas

Average monthly mortgage payment: $984

Difference between state mortgage payment and national average: -$175

Average monthly income (homeowners): $5,523

Mortgage payment as a percentage of income: 17.8%

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