A city where many homeowners are deep underwater, Las Vegas also has one of the lowest rates in the country of residents who own their homes free and clear.
Some 18 percent of Las Vegas Valley homeowners owned their homes outright, unencumbered by mortgage payments, as of Sept. 30, according to a report out Wednesday from Zillow.
That was the third-lowest rate among 30 metro areas tracked in the report. Washington, D.C., was the lowest at 15.5 percent, followed by Atlanta at 17.7 percent. Pittsburgh had the highest rate, 38.6 percent.
Regions with lower home values generally had higher outright ownership rates, as smaller loans are easier to more quickly pay off, Zillow said.
Las Vegas bucked that trend, probably because home values plunged in recent years after many people bought their homes during the boom days. The steep drops have left people throughout the valley underwater, meaning they owe more on their mortgage than what the home is worth.
About 63 percent of valley homeowners with mortgages were underwater during the three months ending Sept. 30, according to Zillow. Las Vegas had the highest rate of underwater homeowners among the 30 metro areas in the report.