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4 Graphs to Illustrate Student Debt’s Impact on Homeownership

by James F. McClister

Federal Reserve researchers attempt to explain the relationship, if any, between the growing burden of student debt and dwindling homeownership rates.

Amongst a swirl of damaging factors, it’s difficult to pinpoint the primary drivers forcing down homeownership rates among U.S. adults. However, research from three Federal Reserve economists released earlier this month is helping to shed some light on the subject, specifically illustrating how heavy student debt burdens, which has only recently become common place among new graduates, are creating significant barriers to Millennial homeownership.

Drawing from their data, here are four graphs to help you understand what is impacting who:

1. The Educated Own More – Our first graph looks at the homeownership rate of those with both college and debt, those without debt and, finally, those without college. The most glaring conclusion from the graph is that those who didn’t attend college were far less likely to move into homeownership in 2010, and have been since before 2004. In 2007, when rates were at their peak, buyers with college and debt soared with nearly a 35 percent homeownership rate. But after three years, that rate dropped to just below 25 percent, ebbing extremely close to buyers without student debt, who also declined. Potential buyers with absolutely no college experience have remained low and even declined since 2007.

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