How are Education and Jobs Related to Area Home Prices? | Topouzis & Associates, P.C.


June 10, 2019

How are Education and Jobs Related to Area Home Prices?

How are Education and Jobs Related to Area Home Prices?

To what extent is reality dependent upon perception? It’s a timeless question, and clearly context-dependent. No matter how much a person may perceive that the world is flat, for example, the fact (scientifically and experimentally validated) is that it is (roughly) spheroid. But there are other areas of human perception where it may be the perception that shapes the reality; and the level of one’s access to good education may be one of these.

Which makes the results of a recent Zillow report troubling. Because, according to the Zillow Housing Aspirations Report, which surveyed 10,000 Americans over a spread of 20 large metro areas, it seems that those who lived in areas with lower home values perceived themselves to have worse access to education. People living in more affluent areas tended to perceive their access to be better. And the thing is that, though the report measured other quality-of-life amenities such as transit and access to job opportunities, in which perception may also “make” the reality and which were also perceived to have significant gaps, the greatest perceived gap was in the access to education.

In those areas where home prices were in the bottom tier (where median home values fell in the lowest one-third of neighborhoods), less than 40 percent of people felt they had decent access to high-quality education. But in the top tier (where median home values fell in the highest one-third of neighborhoods), a full 70 percent of respondents considered their access to education to be of high quality.

St. Louis was the city with the largest gap in perception, with a difference between the low and high tiers of 57 points: among low-tier neighborhood respondents, only 27 percent considered their education to be high quality, but 81 percent of those in the top-tier neighborhoods considered the education to which they had access to be of high quality. Chicago and Detroit also had large gaps in perception of quality of education.

Perhaps even more troubling: in those cities where the gap was not as significant, it appears this was the case because of a general sense that the educational choices in those places were overwhelmingly bad, no matter the tier of homeownership in which respondents found themselves.

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