Housing choice: Assumptions and approaches

  • Clara H. Mulder


Residential mobility and housing choice are studied within a variety of research traditions. The traditions are classified into four approaches, depending on the conceptualization of housing choice they use. Four approaches of housing choice are distinguished: the continuous choice approach, the risk approach, the two-stage choice approach, and the three-stage search and choice approach. In the continuous choice approach, people are assumed to continuously choose between types of housing or levels of housing consumption. It is argued that this approach conforms to a concept of rationality used in the micro-economic sense of utility maximization. The other three approaches are more in line with a bounded rationality concept. They assume that people are not constantly evaluating their housing situation but consider moving only after a certain trigger has set off an intention to move. The three approaches assuming limited periods of housing choice differ in the way they treat triggers for moving versus resources, constraints, and opportunities. They also differ in terms of what is viewed as the object of choice. The risk approach does not explicitly model choice. The two-stage approach models the choice between various opportunities. And the three-stage approach models the choice between accepting and not accepting a particular opportunity “arriving” at a certain point in time.


Housing Market Residential Mobility Choice Process Housing Situation Geographical Mobility 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Allison, P.D. (1982) “Discrete-time methods for the analysis of event histories”, in Leinhardt, S. (ed.),Sociological Methodology 1982, pp. 61–98, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  2. Allison, P.D. (1984)Event History Analysis. Regression for Longitudinal Event Data, Beverly Hills: Sage Publications (Sage University Pape no. 46).Google Scholar
  3. Bailey, A.J. (1993) “Migration history, migration behavior and selectivity”,Annals of Regional Science (27), pp. 315–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barrett, F.A. (1973)Residential Search Behavior, Toronto: York University (Geographical Monograph No. 1).Google Scholar
  5. Boehm, T.P. (1982) “A hierarchical model of housing choice”,Urban Studies (19), no. 1 pp. 17–31.Google Scholar
  6. Bonvalent, C., and D. Arbonville (1996) “Residential itineraries in the Paris area”,Netherlands Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, this issue.Google Scholar
  7. Bootsma, H.G. (1995) “The influence of a work-oriented life style on residential location choice of couples”,Netherlands Journal of Housing and the Built Environment (10), No. 1, pp. 45–63.Google Scholar
  8. Börsch-Supan, A. (1990) “Panel data analysis of housing choices”,Regional Science and Urban Economics (20), pp. 65–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Boumeester, H. (1996) “The choice for expensive owner-occupancy in the Netherlands”,Netherlands Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, this issue.Google Scholar
  10. Brown, L.A., and J. Holmes (1971) “Search behavior in an intraurban migration context”,Environment and Planning A (3), pp. 307–326.Google Scholar
  11. Brown, L.A., and E.G. Moore (1970) “The intra-urban migration process: a perspective,”Geografiska Annaler (52 B), pp. 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cadwallader, M. (1989) “A conceptual framework for analysing migration behaviour in the developed world”,Progress in Human Geography (13), no. 4, pp. 494–511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Clark, W.A.V. (1992) “Comparing cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses of residential mobility and migration”Environment and Planning A (24), pp. 1291–1302.Google Scholar
  14. Clark, W.A.V., and R. Flowerdew (1982) “A review of search models and their application to search in the housing market”, in Clark W.A.V. (ed.),Modelling Housing Market Search, pp. 4–29, London: Croom Helm.Google Scholar
  15. Clark W.A.V., and M. C. Deurloo, and F. M. Dieleman (1984) “Housing consumption and residential mobility”,Annals of the Association of American Geographers (74), no. 1, pp. 29–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Clark W.A.V., and J.L. Onaka (1983) “Life cycle and housing adjustment as explanations of residential mobility”,Urban Studies, (20), pp. 47–57.Google Scholar
  17. Clark W.A.V., and J.L. Onaka (1985) “An empirical test of a joint model of residential mobility and housing choice”,Environment and Planning A (17), pp. 1–16.Google Scholar
  18. Clark W.A.V., and T. R. Smith (1979) “Modeling information use in a spatial context”,Annals of the Association of American Geographers, (69), no. 4, pp. 575–588.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Clark W.A.V., and W.F.J. van Lierop (1986) “Residential mobility and household location modelling”, in Nijkamp P. (ed.),Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics. Volume I: Regional Economics, pp. 97–132, Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  20. Clark W.A.V., M. C. Deurloo, and F.M. Dieleman (1994) “Tenure changes in the context of micro level family and macro level economic shifts”,Urban Studies (31), no. 1, pp. 137–154.Google Scholar
  21. Clark, W.A.V., M.C. Deurloo, and F.M. Dieleman (1997) “Entry into home ownership in Germany: comparisons with the United States”, Forthcoming inUrban Studies.Google Scholar
  22. Courgeau D. (1985) “Interaction between spatial mobility, family and career life-cycle: a French survey”,European Sociological Review (1), no. 2, pp. 139–162.Google Scholar
  23. Courgeau,D., and E. Lelièvre (1992) “Interrelations between first home-ownership, constitution of the family, and professional occupation in France”, in Trussel J., R. Hankinson, and J. Tilton (eds.),Demographic Applications of Event History Analysis, Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  24. DaVanzo J. (1981) “Microeconomic approaches to studying migration decisions”, in De Jong G.F., and R.W. Gardner (eds.),Migration Decision Making. Multidisciplinary Approaches to Microlevel Studies in Developed and Developing Countries, New York: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  25. DaVanzo J., and P.A. Morrison (1978) “Dynamics of return migration: descriptive findings from a longitudinal study”, Santa Monica, California: The Rand Corporation (The Rand Paper Series no. P-5913).Google Scholar
  26. Davies R.B., and A.R. Pickles (1985) “Longitudinal versus cross-sectional methods for behavioural research: a first-round knockout”,Environment and Planning A (17), pp. 1315–1329.Google Scholar
  27. Davies R.B., and A.R. Pickles (1991) “An analysis of housing careers in Cardiff”,Environment and Planning A (23), pp. 629–650.Google Scholar
  28. De Bruijn B. (1992) “The concept of rationality in social sciences”, Amsterdam/Groningen: Postdoctorale Onderzoekersopleiding Demografie (PDOD-paper no. 9).Google Scholar
  29. De Jong G.F., and J.T. fawcett (1981) “Motivations for migration: an assessment and a value-expectancy research model”, in De Jong G.F., and R.W. Gardner (eds.),Migration Decision Making. Multidisciplinary Approaches to Microlevel Studies in Developed and Developing Countries, pp. 13–58, New York: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  30. Deane G.D. (1990) “Mobility and adjustments: paths to the resolution of residential stress”,Demography (27), no. 1, pp. 65–79.Google Scholar
  31. Desbarats J. (1983) “Spatial choice and constraints on behavior”,Annals of the Association of American Geographers (73), no. 3, 340–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Deurloo M.C., W.A.V. Clark, and F.M. Dieleman (1990) “Choice of residential environment in the Randstad”,Urban Studies (27), no. 3, pp. 335–35.Google Scholar
  33. Deurloo M.C., W.A.V. Clark, and F.M. Dieleman (1994) “The move to housing ownership in temporal and regional contexts”,Environment and Planning A (26), pp. 1659–1670.Google Scholar
  34. Deurloo M.C., F.M. Dieleman, and W.A.V. Clark (1987) “Tenure choice in the Dutch housing market”,Enviroment and Planning A (19), pp. 763–781.Google Scholar
  35. Dickens P. (1989) “Human nature, society and the home”,Housing Studies (4), no. 4, pp. 227–237.Google Scholar
  36. Dieleman F.M., W.A.V. Clark, and M.C. Deurloo (1994) “Tenure choice: cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses”,Netherlands Journal of Housing and the Built Environment (9), no. 3, pp. 229–246.Google Scholar
  37. Dieleman F.M., and P.C.J. Everaers (1994) “From renting to owning: life course and housing market circumstances”,Housing Studies (9), no. 1, pp. 11–25.Google Scholar
  38. Doling J. (1976) “The family life cycle and housing choice”,Urban Studies (13), pp. 55–58.Google Scholar
  39. Downs R.M., and D. Stea (1977)Maps in Minds: Reflections on Cognitive Mapping. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  40. Esping-Andersen G. (1990)The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism, Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  41. Fielding A.J. (1992) “Migration and social mobility: South East England as an escalator region”,Regional Studies (26), no. 1, pp. 1–15.Google Scholar
  42. Findley S.E. (1982) “Methods of linking community-level variables with migration survey data”, inESCAP—National Migration Surveys. Volume X: Guidelines for Analysis, pp. 276–311, New York: United Nations.Google Scholar
  43. Floor, H., R. van Kempen, and A. de Vocht (1996) “Leaving Randstad Holland: an analysis of housing preferences with decision plan nets”,Netherlands Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, this issue.Google Scholar
  44. Flowerdew R. (1992) “Labour market operation and geographical mobility”, in Champion T., and T. Fielding (eds.),Migration Processes and Patterns. Volume 1: Research Progress and Prospects, London: Belhaven.Google Scholar
  45. Fotheringham A.S. (1986) “Modelling hierarchical destination choice”,Environment and Planning A (18), pp. 401–418.Google Scholar
  46. Fransson U., and K. Mäkilä (1994) “Residential choice in a time-space perspective: a micro-simulation approach”,Netherlands Journal of Housing and the Built Environment (9), No. 3, pp. 265–283.Google Scholar
  47. Gardner R.W. (1981) “Macrolevel influences on the migration decision process”, in De Jong G.F., and R.W. Gardner (eds.),Migration Decision Making. Multidisciplinary Approaches to Microlevel Studies in Veveloped and Developing Countries, New York: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  48. Giddens A. (1984)The constitution of society, Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  49. Goetgeluk, R.W., P. Hooimeijer, and F.M. Dieleman (1992) “The effectiveness of housing search: the role of motives for moving and housing market adjustment”, Paper prepared for the conference European Cities: Growth or Decline, The Hague, 13–16 April.Google Scholar
  50. Gordon I., and R. Vickerman (1982) “Opportunity, preference and constraint: an approach to the analysis of metropolitan migration”,Urban Studies (19), no. 3, pp. 247–261.Google Scholar
  51. Gould P.R., and R. White (1986) Mental maps. Second edition, Boston: Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  52. Greenwood M.J., P.R. Mueser, D.A. Plane, and A.M. Schlottmann (1991) “New directions in migration research. Perspectives from some North American regional science disciplines”,Annals of Regional Science (25), pp. 237–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Grundy E.M.D., and A.J. Fox (1985) “Migration during early married life”,European Journal of Population (1), pp. 237–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Hägerstrand T. (1970) “What about people in regional science?”,Papers of the Regional Science Association (24), pp. 7–21.Google Scholar
  55. Halfacree K.H., and P.J. Boyle (1993) “The challenge facing migration research: the case for a biographical approach”,Progress in Human Geography (17), No. 3, pp. 333–348.Google Scholar
  56. Haurin D.R., and H.L. Gill (1987) “Effects of income variability on the demand for owner-occupied housing”,Journal of Urban Economics, (22), pp. 136–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Henderson J.V., and Y.M. Ioannides (1987) “Owner Occupancy: investment vs consumption demand”,Journal of Urban Economics (21), pp. 228–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Henretta J.C. (1987) “Family transitions, housing market context, and first home purchase by young married households”,Social Forces (66), no. 2, pp. 520–536.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Hensher D.A., and L.W. Johnson (1981)Applied Discrete Choice Modelling, London: Croom Helm.Google Scholar
  60. Hooimeijer P., and H. Heida (1995) “Household projections and housing market behaviour”, in Van Imhoff E., A. Kuijsten, P. Hooimeijer, and L. van Wissen (eds.)Household Demography and Household Modelling, pp. 293–318, New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  61. Hooimeijer, P., and A. Oskamp (1996) “Simulation models of residential mobility and housing choice”,Netherlands Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, this issue.Google Scholar
  62. Hudson R. (1980) “Personal construct theory, the repertory grid method and human geography”,Progress in Human Geography (4), no. 3, pp. 345–359.Google Scholar
  63. Huff J.O. (1982) “Spatial aspects of residential search”, in Clark W.A.V., (ed.),Modelling Housing Market Search, pp. 106–129, London: Croom Helm.Google Scholar
  64. Ingram, G.K., J.F. Kain, and J.R. Ginn (1972)The Detroit Prototype of the NBER Urban Simulation Model, New York: National Bureau of Economic Research.Google Scholar
  65. Janis, I.L., and L. Mann (1977)Decision Making. A Psychological Analysis of Conflict, Choice, and Commitment, New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  66. Kendig, H.L. (1984) “Housing careers, life cycle and residential mobility: implications for the housing market”,Urban Studies (21), pp. 271–283.Google Scholar
  67. Kintrea, K., and D. Clapham (1986) “Housing choice and search strategies within an administered housing system”,Environment and Planning A (18), pp. 1281–1296.Google Scholar
  68. Kreibich, V., and A. Petri (1982) “Locational behaviour of households in a constrained housing market”,Environment and Planning A (14), pp. 1195–1210.Google Scholar
  69. Kruythoff, H. (1993)Residential Environments and Households in the Randstad, Delft: Delft University Press.Google Scholar
  70. Landale, N.S., and A.M. Guest (1985) “Constraints satisfaction and residential mobility: Speare's model reconsidered”,Demography (22), No. 2, pp. 199–222.Google Scholar
  71. Lelièvre, E., and C. Bonvalet (1994) “A compared cohort history of residential mobility, social change and home-ownership in Paris and the rest of France”.Urban Studies (31), No. 10, pp. 1647–1665.Google Scholar
  72. Lindenberg, S. (1990) “Homo Socio-oeconomicus: the emergence of a general model of man in the social sciences”,Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (146), pp. 727–748.Google Scholar
  73. Loikkanen, H.A. (1992) “Housing demand and tenure choice: evidence from Finland”,Netherlands Journal of Housing and the Built Environment (7), No. 1, pp. 9–30.Google Scholar
  74. Maclennan, D., and G. Wood (1982) “Information acquisition: patterns and strategies”, in Clark, W.A.V., (ed.),Modelling Housing Market Search, pp. 134–159, London: Croom Helm.Google Scholar
  75. Marcuse, P. (1993) “What's so new about divided cities?”,International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (17), No. 3, pp. 355–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Massey, D.S. (1990) “Social structure, household strategies, and the cumulative causation of migration”Population Index (56), No. 1, pp. 3–26.Google Scholar
  77. McCarthy, K. (1982) “An analytical model of housing search and mobility”, in Clark, W.A.V., (ed.)Modelling Housing Market Search, pp. 30–53, London: Croom Helm.Google Scholar
  78. Meyer, R. (1980) “A descriptive model of constrained residential search”,Geographical Analysis (12), No. 1, pp. 21–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Michelson, W. (1977)Environmental Choice, Human Behavior, and Residential Satisfaction, New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  80. Molin, E., H. Oppewal, and H. Timmermans (1996) “Predicting consumer response to new housing: a stated choice experiment”,Netherlands Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, this issue.Google Scholar
  81. Mulder, C.H. (1993)Migration Dynamics: A Life Course Approach, Amsterdam: Thesis Publishers/PDOD.Google Scholar
  82. Mulder, C.H., and P. Hooimeijer (1995) “Moving into owner-occupation: compositional and contextual effects on the propensity to become a homeowner”,Netherlands Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, (10), No. 1, pp. 5–25.Google Scholar
  83. Mulder, C.H., and D. Manting (1994) “Strategies of nest-leavers: ‘ettling down’ versus flexibility”,European Sociological Review (10), No. 2, pp. 155–172.Google Scholar
  84. Mulder, C.H., and M. Wagner (1993) “Migration and marriage in the life course: a method for studying synchronized events”,European Journal of Population (9), No. 1, pp. 55–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Onaka, J., and W.A.V. Clark (1983) “A disaggregate model of residential mobility and housing choice”,Geographical Analysis (15), pp. 287–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Op 't Veld, D., E. Bijlsma, and J. Starmans (1992) “Decision plan nets and expert systems tools, a new combination for application-oriented modelling of choice behaviour”,Netherlands Journal of Housing and the Built Environment (7), No. 1, pp. 101–124.Google Scholar
  87. Oskamp, A. (1994) “LocSim: A probabilistic model of choice heuristics”,Netherlands Journal of Housing and the Built Environment (9), No. 3, pp. 285–309.Google Scholar
  88. Park, C.W., R.W. Hughes, V. Thukral, and R. Friedmann (1981) “Consumers' decision plans and subsequent choice behavior”,Journal of Marketing (45), pp. 33–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Payne, J.W., J.R. Bettman, and E.J. Johnson (1993)The Adaptive Decision Maker, Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  90. Phipps, A.G., and R.J. Meyer (1985) “Normative versus heuristic models of residential search behavior: an empirical comparison”,Environment and Planning A (17), pp. 761–776.Google Scholar
  91. Phipps, A.G., and J.E. Carter (1985) “Individual differences in the residential preferences of inner-city homeowners”,Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie (76), No. 1, pp. 32–42.Google Scholar
  92. Phipps, A.G., and W.H. Laverty (1983) “Optimal stopping and residential search behavior”,Geographical Analysis (15), No. 3, pp. 187–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Porell, F.W. (1982)Models of Intraurban Residential Relocation, Boston: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  94. Rima, A., and L.J.G. van Wissen (1987)A Dynamic Model of Household Relocation, a Case Study for the Amsterdam Region, Amsterdam: Free University Press.Google Scholar
  95. Rossi, P.H. (1955)Why Families Move. A Study in the Social Psychology of Urban Residential Mobility, Glencoe, Illinois: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  96. Rudel, T.K. (1987) “Housing price, inflation, family growth, and the move from rented to owner occupied housing”,Urban Studies (24), pp. 258–267.Google Scholar
  97. Sandefur, G.D., and W.J. Scott (1981) “A dynamic analysis of migration: an assessment of the effects of age, family and career variables”,Demography (18), No. 3, pp. 355–368.Google Scholar
  98. Saunders, P. (1989) “The meaning of ‘home’ in contemporary English culture”,Housing Studies (4), No. 3, pp. 177–192.Google Scholar
  99. Shaw, R.P. (1975)Migration Theory and Fact. A Review and Bibliography of Current Literature, Philadelphia: Regional Science Research Institute.Google Scholar
  100. Simon, H.A. (1979) “From substantive to procedural rationality”, in Hahn, F., and M. Hollis (eds.),Philosophy and Economic Theory, pp. 65–86, Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  101. Sjaastad, L.A. (1962) “The costs and returns of human migration”,Journal of Political Economy (70), pp. 80–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  102. Smith, T.R., W.A.V. Clark, J.O. Huff, and P. Shapiro (1979) “A decision-making and search model for intraurban migration”,Geographical Analysis (11), No. 1, pp. 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  103. Speare, A., Jr. (1974) “Residential satisfaction as an intervening variable in residential mobility”,Demography (11), No. 2, pp. 173–188.Google Scholar
  104. Speare, A., Jr., S. Goldstein, and W.H. Frey (1975)Residential Mobility, Migration, and Metropolitan Change, Cambridge, Mass: Ballinger.Google Scholar
  105. Thill, J.-C. (1992) “Choice set formation for destination choice modelling”,Progress in Human Geography (16), No. 3, 361–382.Google Scholar
  106. Thorns, D.C. (1985) “Age and calendar time: two facets of the residential mobility process”,Environment and Planning A (17), pp. 829–844.Google Scholar
  107. Timmermans, H. (1984) “Decompositional multiattribute preference models in spatial choice analysis: a review of some recent developments”,Progress in Human Geography (8), No.2, pp. 189–221.Google Scholar
  108. Timmermans, H., E. Molin, and L. van Noortwijk (1994) “Housing choice processes: stated versus revealed modelling approaches”,Netherlands Journal of Housing and the Built Environment (9), No. 3, pp. 215–227.Google Scholar
  109. Van der Vaart, W. (1996)Inquiring into the Past: Data Quality of Responses to Retrospective Questions, Amsterdam: Free University (Thesis).Google Scholar
  110. Van Zwetselaar, M., and R. Goetgeluk (1994) “Decision plan nets of housing choice: a critical evaluation of the reliability and validity of this technique”,Netherlands Journal of Housing and the Built Environment (9), No. 3, pp. 247–264.Google Scholar
  111. Voets, S. (1994) “The concept of choice and relocation behaviour”, The Hague: Postdoctorale Onderzoekersopleiding Demografie (PDOD-paper no. 25).Google Scholar
  112. Wagner, M. (1990) “Education and migration”, in Mayer, K.U., and N.B. Tuma (eds.)Event History Analysis in Life Course Research, Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
  113. Wegener, M. (1983) “A simulation study of movement in the Dortmund housing market”,Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie (74), No. 4, pp. 267–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  114. Willekens, F. (1991) “Understanding the interdependence between parallel careers”, in Siegers, J.J., J. de Jong-Gierveld, and E. van Imhoff (eds.)Female Labour Market Behaviour and Fertility: A Rational-Choice Approach, pp. 2–31, Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
  115. Witlox, F. (1995) “Qualitative housing choice modelling: decision plan nets versus decision tables”,Netherlands Journal of Housing and the Built Environment (10), No. 3, pp. 209–237.Google Scholar
  116. Wolpert, J. (1965) “Behavioral aspects of the decision to migrate”,Papers of the Regional Science Association, XV, pp. 159–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  117. Wolpert, J. (1966) “Migration as an adjustment to environmental stress”,Journal of Social Issues (XXII), No. 4, pp. 92–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  118. Yamaguchi, K. (1991)Event History Analysis, Newbury Park: Sage (Applied Social Research Methods Series 28).Google Scholar
  119. Zelinsky, W. (1980) “The impasse in migration theory: a sketch map for potential escapees”, in Morrison, P.A., (ed.),Population Movements: Their Forms and Functions in Urbanization and Development, Liege, Belgium: IUSSP.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Delft University Press 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clara H. Mulder

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations