The Relationship Between College Degrees and Higher Home Ownership Rate
Homeowners with a bachelor or associate’s degree accounted for around 70% of home ownership, according to a 2020 US Census report, indicating a strong correlation between education and access to the housing market. By contrast, the number of homeowners with only a high school diploma or less has been shrinking over the past 10 years, the data added.
Between 2010 and 2020, degree-holding homeowners surged by 18%, while those with just a high school diploma dropped by 30%, a trend that’s expected to continue in the coming years.
The changing demographics of homeowners can be attributed to several factors, including better access to higher education (remote learning, financial aid, etc.) that allows more individuals to complete their degrees.
Another influential factor is the increasing home value that locks out lower-income individuals. After all, higher education correlates with higher income, making it easier for degree-holding individuals to buy homes than their counterparts who only have a high school diploma (or less).
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Factors influencing the trend
Below is the list of factors that explain the rising number of degree-holding homeowners in the US.
Education levels are rising
In recent years, overall education levels have been rising due to multiple factors, such as improved access to education thanks to the proliferation of distance learning platforms. In fact, between 2010 and 2020, the number of Americans with bachelor’s degrees and higher increased from 28% to 33%.
Pundits expect that the level of education will continue increasing in the coming years as more high school graduates go to college and the percentage of the population who grew up in a period where a college education was not sought after is shrinking.
Higher education translates to higher income
Individuals with a bachelor’s degree earn more than double than someone without a high school diploma, with a medium income of $56,150 and $25,350, respectively. It should be noted that higher income generally translates to better credit and more access to favorable mortgage rates.
Shrinking opportunities in manufacturing and other industries
In the past, workers had more access to higher-paying jobs in manufacturing and other industries. But over the years, the opportunities to earn decent living wages among individuals who lack a high school diploma have been continuously decreasing, and so this demographic finds it more challenging to become homeowners.
Many higher paying jobs that only required a high school diploma have either disappeared or are now demanding some type of post-high school credentials.
Rising home values
US house prices have been continuously rising over the past years, with experts even predicting that these are set to increase by 10% this year (Reuters report). And in some areas, home values are hitting high records due to the compounded effects of the pandemic and the small increase in the number of housing units which doesn’t compensate for the growing population.
The squeeze of low inventory is apparent in the Bay Area where the median prices of single-family homes increased 21.7% from 2021, driving their value to $1.25 million, according to data released by CoreLogic and DQNews. (The Mercury News report)
And since higher education generally translates to higher income, it’s not surprising that people with college degrees and higher are more likely to become homeowners than individuals with just a high school diploma or less.
Professionals with the highest home ownership rates
It’s not just the level of education that affects home ownership but also the profession. For instance, people in health and education are more likely to own a home compared to IT professionals whose job doesn’t necessarily require them to settle down.
Some industries and professions offer remote work, a trend that is increasingly becoming more common due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, this arrangement has become the norm for most businesses, with experts suggesting that by 2025, around 70% of the US workforce will be telecommuting at least five days a month.
On the other hand, some professions inhibit relocation and require more home stability. This might explain why individuals with degrees in education and healthcare are more likely to own a home compared to IT professionals, freelance writers, and other professions wherein remote work is the norm.
According to recent US Census data, around 82% of people with a first degree in education own their homes, followed by professionals with industry and technology specialization, with 81% of them owning their house, and those with agriculture-related degrees with 80% home ownership.
By contrast, only 67% of IT and communication and mass media graduates live in their own homes, followed by a 66% home ownership rate among art degree holders. These professionals are known as digital nomads who may prefer to rent.
Importance of working with a client-focused real estate professional
Working with a skilled and client-focused real estate professional can make the home buying process less stressful, quicker, and more successful because they will help you get your timing down and create a game; plan so you can meet your goals and stay within your budget.
A skilled real estate broker can also give valuable advice to help you secure a mortgage; these include getting your finances in order and obtaining pre-approval from a lender.
If you ever need a client-focused real estate professional with in-depth knowledge of the housing market in San Jose and the Greater Bay Area, contact me today at CJ@TalkToCJ.com or call/text (408) 406-6035.
I am a Certified Real Estate Specialist (CRS) with several niche specializations, such as residential sales for divorcing customers and energy efficiency and sustainability issues in real estate (NAR’s Green Designation). I also hold certifications from the Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI), Seniors Realtor Estate Specialist (SRES), and Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS). Read more about it here.