A new report from the University of Utah says the estimates from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York say Utah households carry more debt than the typical American household. The Federal Reserve’s estimates include mortgage loans, auto loans, credit card debt, student loans, and home equity lines of credit (HELOC). The study showed that Utah ranks 13th in the nation for household debt, with the average Utah household owing $55,150.
The report also answers why Utah households have higher levels of debt — Because Utah household carry more mortgage debt, which accounts for nearly three-quarters of household debt in Utah compared to 68 percent nationally.
The report continues, “Utah households have more mortgage debt because: (1) Utah has relatively high housing prices with the median sales price of a home in the Salt Lake Metropolitan area in the first quarter of 2016 was $261,300, which ranks 29th among 180 metropolitan areas; (2) Utah homeowners are younger and have had less time to build equity and pay down mortgage debt; and (3) Utah has the third highest homeownership rate of any state, 73.9 percent of Utah households are homeowners.”