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Academic Success Pays Off

College degree holders consistently have higher homeownership rates than those without a degree, suggesting that despite all the worry about student-loan debt, more education is worth the hardships.

And according to a recently released report by Trulia, there is data to confirm that academic degrees increase homeownership rates.

The research for this report comes from the U.S. Census’ 2015 5-Year American Community Survey (ACS). The report noted that education levels are based on all household heads over the age of 22, but income represents household income. This report focused on the biggest 100 metros according to the number of occupied housing units, and national data figures from the 100 metros weighted by their number of occupied housing units.

The figures discovered that more education tends to lead to greater incomes, which leads to more homebuyers. In fact, those with professional degrees, such as medical or law degrees, received the highest ownership rate overall at 76 percent. However, a future homebuyer doesn’t necessarily need to go to medical or law school to increase their home-owning chances.

Although, at least a bachelor’s degree might be the surest way to make homeownership more realistic. Homeownership rates are nearly 16 percentage points higher for those with a college degree compared to those with only a high school degree, representing the greatest difference among all education levels.

So nationally, it is clear that higher education leads to higher levels of homeownership rates. But Trulia’s data looks closely into metros as well, discovering that for those with higher education degrees, some locations offer even stronger opportunities. For example, professional degree holders in Louisville, Kentucky showed homeownership rates at 86.1 percent, compared to the overall homeownership rate of 67.2 percent.

When it comes to more expensive markets, homeownership is a challenge no matter how much work a future homebuyer puts into their academic success, or the income it earns. In cities like San Francisco, California, even a professional degree doesn’t make the homebuying struggle any easier. With the median home valued at $1.2 million, professional degree holders, with median household earnings of $174,000, have a homeownership rate of 58.2 percent.

To view Trulia’s full report, click here.

About Author: Nicole Casperson

Nicole Casperson is the Associate Editor of DS News and MReport. She graduated from Texas Tech University where she received her M.A. in Mass Communications and her B.A. in Journalism. Casperson previously worked as a graduate teaching instructor at Texas Tech's College of Media and Communications. To contact Casperson, e-mail: nicole.casperson@thefivestar.com.
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