NerdWallet examined data on credit scores, monthly homeowner costs as a percentage of income, serious mortgage delinquencies, and foreclosure inventories to determine which states have homeowners who are in the best position to handle their mortgages.
“The U.S. continues to recover from the mortgage crisis that began eight years ago, but the pace of that recovery has been uneven across the nation,” the report stated.
According to NerdWallet, North Dakota has the highest mortgage health score of 98.13. The average credit score for this state is 696, 12.60 percent of residents spend over 35 percent of their income on housing, and median income rose 11.19 percent from 2009 to 2014. This state also has the lowest mortgage delinquency rate.
Neighboring South Dakota came in second place in terms of mortgage health with a score of 88.59, while the state of Nebraska finished third with a health score of 87.78.
New Jersey, Florida, and New York received the lowest mortgage health scores at 10.07, 20.17, and 28.16, respectively. These states also have average credit scores in the 600s, too many residents that spend over 35 percent of their income on housing, and negative changes in median income from 2009 to 2014.
On a regional level, the Midwest outperformed other regions, with the top six states where homeowners have healthy mortgage profiles, the report said.
The Southeast region consisted of low credit scores throughout, recording four of the five worst credit score averages by state. There was a 66-point variance between the most creditworthy state, Minnesota with a score of 704, and the least, Mississippi with a score of 638.
The NerdWallet report also noted that the one-third rule proves to be true among housing payments, as consumers should not spend more than a third of their income on housing. Data showed that the last five states have the highest percentage of residents who spend 35 percent or more of their annual income on housing.
Income growth was a major indicator of overall mortgage health, with homeowners in Rhode Island, Nevada, and Connecticut saw a high mortgage delinquency rate as residents also experienced major income contractions, the data showed.
Click here to view the full report.