“Paid Off” homes point the way to next round of housing demand:

We are all too familiar with the constant media reports that state that approximately one third of home owners are “upside down” or “underwater” on their mortgage. This is when they owe more on their mortgage than what their home is worth. As home prices have been steadily increasing, these people are less “underwater” than a year ago but they are still essentially stuck in their current home. But a new report by Zillow shows that one third of all homes are owned with no mortgage at all. Demographics, home prices and geographical location all seem to play into non-mortgaged home ownership, according to Zillow’s survey. Obviously, the longer someone owns a home, the more likely they are to have paid off a mortgage. When looking at non-mortgaged ownership rates as a percentage of homeowners in various age groups, however, Zillow found 34.5 percent of 20- to 24-year-old homeowners have no house mortgage. This represents an upwardly mobile block of homeowners that can sell their homes and purchase a new one.