DP8889 The Dynamics of Homeownership Among the 50+ in Europe

Author(s): Viola Angelini, Agar Brugiavini, Guglielmo Weber
Publication Date: March 2012
Keyword(s): housing, life-cycle
JEL(s): D19, E21
Programme Areas: International Macroeconomics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=8889

We use life history data covering households in thirteen European countries to analyse residential moves past age 50. We observe four types of moves: renting to owning, owning to renting, trading up or trading down for home-owners. We find that in the younger group (aged 50-64) trading up and purchase decisions prevail; in the older group (65+), trading down and selling are more common. Overall, moves are rare, particularly in Southern European countries. Most moves are driven by changes in household composition (divorce, widowhood, nest-leaving by children), but economic factors play a role: low income households who are house-rich and cash-poor are more likely to sell their home late in life.