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Homeownership and Happiness


Can owning a home be linked to one’s happiness? According to data from the OECD Better Life Index – a study that gauges the quality of life worldwide by factoring in such things like housing, jobs and civic engagement – homeownership in the United States can lead to higher levels of subjective well-being. So the answer appears to be yes – homeownership can be linked to happiness.

RISMedia reports that, according to Aida Caldera Sanchez and Caroline Tassot, authors of a recent Index analysis, “At face value this assessment is dead on – most agents can attest to smiling faces when first-time buyers – but that heightened sense of well-being may be more closely tied to our basic need for shelter.” Homeownership is also suited for additional qualities covered by the analysis such as status and independence.

The Index also measures well-being indicators on a regional scale. Housing performs better than all other indicators in 75 percent of the states in the Midwest, says RISMedia. Similarly, housing in the South tops all other indicators in 70.6 percent of states in the region. Housing in the West outperforms indicators such as environment and education in 15 percent of states. In 55 percent of the Northeastern states, as well as major metropolitan areas, income trumps housing as the dominant indicator.

Use the OECD Regional Well-Being website to see how your home region performs in terms of housing and other well-being indicators.