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Zillow,com reports today that 29.3% of U.S. homeowners own their houses free and clear of debt. San Diego County comes in at 21.5%. The highest percentages among metro areas are Pittsburgh (38.6%) and Tampa (33.2%) and the lowest are Washington DC (15.5%) and Atlanta 17.7%). The price of homes is a factor -- one reason, probably, that San Diego's percentage is not high. Another is age of owners. People 65 to 84 are more likely to own homes free and clear. The Washington DC area, where the population is so transient, would not be expected to have a high percentage.

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