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Owner-occupation, Mortgages and Intergenerational Transfers: The Extreme Cases of Hungary and the Netherlands


  • Janneke Toussaint
  • Hanna Szemzo
  • Marja Elsinga
  • Jozsef Hegedüs
  • Nora Teller


Societies are trying to cope with ageing and the consequences of the global financial crisis. In most societies collective welfare arrangements for the elderly are under pressure, and drawing on housing equity can be considered as a potential source of augmenting one's pension and financing one's care in old age. This article explores the way in which housing equity is perceived as a financial back-up for old age in Hungary and the Netherlands: two completely different contexts. Hungary and the Netherlands are at opposite poles in many respects when it comes to old age and the role of owner-occupation. In Hungary the large majority of the population is owner-occupier, in the Netherlands the proportion is much smaller. In Hungary most home owners are outright owners; in the Netherlands they invariably have a mortgage. These differences appear to impact on household strategies. In Hungary housing equity plays a key role in the financial strategies of families, whereas it plays only a minor role in the Netherlands. Moving to the rental sector to release housing equity appears an obvious strategy in the Netherlands, whereas this strategy is non-existent in Hungary.

Suggested Citation

  • Janneke Toussaint & Hanna Szemzo & Marja Elsinga & Jozsef Hegedüs & Nora Teller, 2012. "Owner-occupation, Mortgages and Intergenerational Transfers: The Extreme Cases of Hungary and the Netherlands," International Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 69-90, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:intjhp:v:12:y:2012:i:1:p:69-90
    DOI: 10.1080/14616718.2012.651327

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