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Unemployment risk, house price risk and the transition into home ownership in the United Kingdom

  • Gathergood, John

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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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Housing Economics.

Volume (Year): 20 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 200-209

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhouse:v:20:y:2011:i:3:p:200-209
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622881

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  1. Todd Sinai & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2003. "Owner-Occupied Housing as a Hedge Against Rent Risk," NBER Working Papers 9462, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Erik Hurst, 2002. "The Transition To Home Ownership And The Black-White Wealth Gap," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 281-297, May.
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  6. Ortalo-Magne, Francois & Rady, Sven, 2002. "Tenure choice and the riskiness of non-housing consumption," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 266-279, September.
  7. Stephen H. Shore & Todd Sinai, 2005. "Commitment, Risk, and Consumption: Do Birds of a Feather Have Bigger Nests?," NBER Working Papers 11588, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1990. "But They Don't Want to Reduce Housing Equity," NBER Chapters, in: Issues in the Economics of Aging, pages 13-32 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  10. Engelhardt, Gary V, 1996. "Consumption, Down Payments, and Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(2), pages 255-71, May.
  11. Robst, John & Deitz, Richard & McGoldrick, KimMarie, 1999. "Income variability, uncertainty and housing tenure choice1," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 219-229, March.
  12. Haurin, Donald R. & Gill, H. Leroy, 1987. "Effects of income variability on the demand for owner-occupied housing," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 136-150, September.
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  15. Fu, Yuming, 1995. "Uncertainty, liquidity, and housing choices," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 223-236, April.
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