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How Home Values Affect Education


homebuyersAccess to the best quality of education might well depend on the value of your home, according to a study by Zillow [1]. The latest Zillow Housing Aspirations Report, a semi-annual survey of 10,000 Americans in 20 large metro areas, found that residents in areas with lower home values perceived worse access to education and jobs.

Among amenities like access to education, transit, job opportunities, and other amenities, the report indicated that education saw the biggest gap in the perceived access between areas where median home values were in the lower one-third of all neighborhoods (bottom tier) and those where the median home values were in the highest one-third (top tier).

It found that less than 40 percent of the people in bottom-tier areas said they had relatively good access to high-quality education in their neighborhood, versus 70 percent in the top-tier. With a 57-point difference, the largest gap was found in St. Louis with only 27 percent of bottom-tier neighborhood residents reporting good access to high-quality education, compared to 81 percent in the top tier. Other midwest metros, including Detroit and Chicago, also had large perceived gaps in educational access, with "point differentials of 40 and 36 between bottom- and top-tier neighborhoods, respectively."

Among cities where this gap is the narrowest, the report said that equal footing was only because access to top-quality education was perceived to be weak all around. The report noted that in cities like Las Vegas and Tampa less than 50 percent of respondents from all value tiers expressed satisfaction with their educational access.

However, Los Angeles was an exception where "good perceived access to education" was shared across the tiers. It was the only metro where more than half of the residents from bottom-tier neighborhoods said they were satisfied with their access.

"No matter where you live, odds are you think your neighborhood is meeting your basic needs," said Skylar Olsen, Director of Economic Research and Outreach at Zillow. "But schools can be harder to evaluate, and a lot depends on what each individual student's needs are. "

At the other end of the spectrum, the report indicated that access to public transit systems is better in less valuable neighborhoods with residents in communities with lower home values saying they had relatively good access to public transportation in 19 of the 20 metros surveyed.

Click here [2] to read the full report.