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CLIPBOARD : Mortgage Payment Burdens

May 04, 1991

The high cost of housing has been a big story in Orange County for years. But what is less well known is that four homeowners in 10 pay $500 or less each month for their mortgages.

Who are these lucky people? Basically, they are folks who have been here a long time: older people and those who have been in the county and/or at their current address for more than 20 years. Regionally, North County has the largest percentage of low-mortgage residents.

At the other end of the scale, those paying more than $1,500 a month are most likely to include the very wealthiest residents and newcomers--people who have been here two years or less. South County has the highest concentration of high-dollar mortgages.

Despite the 40% figure, the pattern of mortgage payments is quite similar to that found in rental rates: The low-bracket mortgages have been disappearing while the upper-end totals have increased. For example, in 1983, 55% of the mortgages in the county were for less than $500 compared to today's 40%. And the percentage paying more than $1,500 a month has increased from 7% in 1983 to 18% today.

Here's how these payments line up today:

$500 and $501- $751- $1,001- $1,501- Less $750 $1,000 $1,500 $2,000 TOTAL 40% 9% 13% 20% 12% AGE 18-34 years 25 5 14 36 15 35-54 25 13 18 21 16 55 and older 76 6 5 6 4 REGION OF COUNTY * North 51 9 13 17 6 West 39 11 12 19 15 Central 40 9 15 21 13 South 29 8 13 24 14 HOUSEHOLD INCOME More than $80,000 23 6 8 22 24 $50,000-$79,999 35 9 13 27 13 $36,000-$50,000 38 14 25 19 3 Less than $36,000 73 7 9 7 4 CURRENT RESIDENCE Single-Family Home 41 9 11 19 13 Attached ** 29 9 24 27 8 HOW LONG IN ORANGE COUNTY 2 years or less 30 *** 3 25 27 3-5 years 24 10 24 24 14 6-10 years 15 6 10 37 23 11-20 years 32 15 15 19 12 More than 20 years 59 7 12 14 5 HOW LONG AT CURRENT ADDRESS 2 years or less 22 7 10 25 24 3-5 years 15 6 20 40 13 6-10 years 24 8 18 26 16 11-20 years 56 16 13 6 6 More than 20 years 83 7 5 4 1

More Than $2,000 TOTAL 6% AGE 18-34 years 5 35-54 7 55 and older 3 REGION OF COUNTY * North 4 West 4 Central 2 South 12 HOUSEHOLD INCOME More than $80,000 17 $50,000-$79,999 3 $36,000-$50,000 1 Less than $36,000 *** CURRENT RESIDENCE Single-Family Home 7 Attached ** 3 HOW LONG IN ORANGE COUNTY 2 years or less 15 3-5 years 4 6-10 years 9 11-20 years 7 More than 20 years 3 HOW LONG AT CURRENT ADDRESS 2 years or less 12 3-5 years 6 6-10 years 8 11-20 years 3 More than 20 years ***

* North: Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Fullerton, La Habra, Orange, Placentia, Villa Park,Yorba Linda. Central: Costa Mesa, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Tustin, Tustin Foothills. West: Cypress, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, La Palma, Los Alamitos, MidwayCity, Rossmoor, Stanton, Seal Beach, Westminster. South: Capistrano Beach, Dana Point, El Toro, Emerald Bay, Irvine, Laguna Beach,Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Silverado, South Laguna.

** Includes townhomes, condominiums, etc.

*** Less than 1%

Source: Orange County Annual Survey by Mark Baldassare, UCI

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