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Property crimes are highest in this state; how safe is your house?

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

Alaska, New Mexico claim highest property crime rates

Want to avoid a burglary or other property crime? Then don’t buy a house in Alaska or New Mexico. The two states have seen the biggest jumps in property crimes in the last five years.

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Property crimes by state

According to a new study from home improvement site Fixr, Alaska has seen the biggest uptick in property crimes in the last five years, with a 29.1 percent jump since 2014. 

New Mexico came in second — but with much smaller numbers. The state saw a 9.4 percent increase in property crimes, while third-place North Dakota saw a 7.8 percent increase. The only other state to see a jump was Colorado, with a 0.6 percent uptick.

As the study explains, “While we focused on property crime alone, it may be unsurprising that Alaska and New Mexico, the states that took the top two spots for an increase in property crime, also topped the list for crime overall.”

Some states see big dips

Luckily, only four states have seen an increase in property crime over the last five years. And many states in the Northeast? They’ve actually seen big decreases.

In New Hampshire, for example, property crimes dropped by a whopping 43.1 percent. Vermont saw a decrease of 42.6 percent, while Maine’s property crime rate dropped 40.1 percent. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania also saw significant dips.

Though Washington D.C. saw a 11.8 percent decrease in property crimes, it actually claimed the most crimes among all states, with 4,284 over the last five years.

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Protect yourself from property crimes

Fortunately, homeowners do have ways to protect themselves — regardless of what state they’re located in. As the study says, “The onus is on the homeowner to ensure they do not fall victim to a crime, even in the safest states.”

Fixr recommends installing a security system, reinforcing access points, illuminating your yard and planting carefully placed bushes around your windows and perimeter. 

Forming a neighborhood watch group can also help, with Fixr’s analysts saying, “A neighborhood watch has been shown to help reduce crime for you all and you have the benefit of making new friends close to home.”

Get today’s mortgage rates

Need help financing those security upgrades? See what mortgage rates you might qualify for on a cash-out refinance today.

Verify your new rate (Oct 18th, 2019)