Discussion paper

DP8889 The Dynamics of Homeownership Among the 50+ in Europe

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.


Weber, G, A Brugiavini and V Angelini (2012), ‘DP8889 The Dynamics of Homeownership Among the 50+ in Europe‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 8889. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp8889