Unemployment risk, house price risk and the transition into home ownership in the United Kingdom
Using household panel data, this paper examines the impact of income uncertainty, in the form of unemployment risk, on home ownership in the United Kingdom. The existing literature based on cross-sectional studies finds a negative relationship between income uncertainty and home ownership. This paper utilises data on transitions into home ownership and exogenous variation in unemployment risk, avoiding the endogeneity of employment to home ownership status. It also conditions the empirical estimates on a measure of house price volatility utilising a local-level house price index to control house price risk, which might also discourage home ownership. Results show a strong role for unemployment risk in lowering the likelihood of house purchase, but no statistically significant role for house price risk.
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