Why Do the Swiss Rent?
AbstractAt 34%, Switzerland has the lowest home ownership rate in Western Europe. This is a puzzle given the economic strength of the country. We use 1998 household survey data for five Swiss cantons to explore some possible reasons for this. We estimate a tenure choice equation that allows us to analyze the impacts of a number of key variables on the ownership rate. We pay particular attention to the relative cost of owning and renting, which is a function of house prices, rents, and the user cost of owning. The latter is a function of income tax policy and expected house price inflation, among other things. We also measure mortgage underwriting criteria and consider rent control and other policies affecting rental housing. By simulating a number of hypothetical changes to taxation and other policies, underwriting criteria, and price levels, we assess the importance of these variables in explaining the ownership rate. We conclude that high house pricesârelative to rents and to household incomes and wealthâare by far the most important cause of Switzerlandâs low ownership rate.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Springer in its journal The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics.
Volume (Year): 40 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102945
Home ownership; House prices; Tax policy; Switzerland;
Other versions of this item:
- R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand
- R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets
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