Exploring young Europeans’ homeownership opportunities
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Even before the 2008/9-crisis, and certainly after, trends in labour markets combined with housing and mortgage market developments made it more difficult for each new cohort of young Europeans (25-34) to complete the transition to ‘residential independence’, and to homeownership in particular. Using EU-SILC-data (2005-2018), I find that young adults’ homeownership opportunities have indeed declined across Europe, but to varying extents. Furthermore, it seems that a more socially selective group of highly educated young homeowners are entering properties, and the properties they are entering are of lower quality and in locations with fewer services. I also find indications that the transition to homeownership is being pushed beyond the commonly used age-threshold of 34. Across countries, deteriorating homeownership opportunities are more strongly associated with housing and mortgage market turmoil than with the declined employment and income security of young adults. Taken together, these findings may indicate that housing market developments, such as restricted access to mortgage credit, have become a more important explanatory factor.
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