, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 469-488

Longitudinal analysis of the formation and realisation of preferences to move into homeownership in the Netherlands

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Abstract

This study investigates how life course characteristics and housing market circumstances affect the formation and realisation of preferences to move into homeownership. Using a data set from the Netherlands in which data from three cross-sectional housing surveys are enriched with longitudinal register data for the period 1998–2008, we follow aspiring homeowners regarding their actual residential behaviour. We find that only 31 % of the aspiring homeowners became homeowners within 2 years, approximately 13 % moved to rental homes, and the vast majority did not move at all. Insufficient socioeconomic resources and a high house price-to-rent ratio hamper the realisation of preferences to move into homeownership. However, these hampering factors are at least as important as the extent to which individuals prefer to move into homeownership. This last finding suggests that housing tenure preferences cannot be viewed as ‘pure’ preferences.