It's not just avocado toast to blame: A new study from the Federal Reserve found that more than 400,000 young adults could be homeowners — that is, if their massive student debt wasn't holding them back.
However, and perhaps not surprisingly, an additional study found that those living in rural areas have higher rates of homeownership and less student debt. Many borrowers leave rural areas to go to school, and the study found that the higher the student loan balance, the more likely the borrower was to move to a major metropolitan area for work.
While this does mean that the path to homeownership is slightly easier for those living in rural communities, the phenomenon of the college educated moving away, commonly called the "rural brain drain," can have a lasting negative economic impact on these areas.
The study, first reported by Curbed, also shows that overall homeownership in the U.S. fell four percent after the financial crisis of 2009, from a high of 69 percent in 2005 to 64 percent in 2014. For young adults, however, the numbers are even worse — nearly half of Americans ages 24 to 32 owned a home in 2005, whereas just 36 percent did in 2014. The report also noted that student loan balances have doubled in the last decade, and many adults report that their student loan debts are what keep them from taking the plunge into homeownership.