Even before the 2008/9-crisis but certainly afterwards, trends in labour, housing and mortgage markets combined with welfare reform, making it more difficult for each new cohort of young Europeans (25-34) to complete the transition to ‘residential independence’, particularly to become a homeowner. This paper explores ‘trends in homeownership opportunities’, using data from EU-SILC (2005-2018). It takes a broader perspective by exploring trends in its social selectivity, as well as changes in the ‘attributes’ of homeownership over time. Young adults’ homeownership opportunities have declined almost everywhere in Europe, but to varying extents. Furthermore, a more socially selective group of young homeowners seems to be entering properties of lower quality in locations with fewer services. Deteriorating homeownership opportunities are strongly associated with mortgage lending restrictions, indicating that trends in housing and broader financial markets/policies are important explanatory factors. I also find indications that the transition to homeownership is being pushed beyond the commonly-used age-threshold of 34 years.

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Author: Caroline Dewilde
Document Type: article
ISSN: 2336-2839
Volume: 7
Issue: 1
Pages: 86-102
DOI code: 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.1.506
Date of publication: 31.5.2020


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