DP2050 Private Transfers, Borrowing Constraints and the Timing of Homeownership
The 1991 Italian Survey of Household Income and Wealth contains detailed information on how respondents acquired their main residence and any other real estate. This information is used to estimate the impact of inter vivos transfers on the saving period required to purchase a house and on the value of the house purchased when households have limited access to mortgage markets. It is found that transfers shorten the saving time by about two years and allow households to purchase considerably larger homes. The results have implications for the debate about the source of the relation between aggregate saving and growth.