IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Security and Insecurity of Home Ownership: Germany and the Netherlands


  • Janneke Toussaint
  • Gudrun Tegeder
  • Marja Elsinga
  • Ilse Helbrecht


This paper examines the experience of households in two adjacent countries, Germany and the Netherlands, both of which have relatively modest levels of home ownership but significantly different housing systems. Population growth is slowing down in Germany, while it is still increasing in the Netherlands. German house prices are stable while Dutch prices have been rising considerably for 25 years now. The central question is whether people in these two different contexts, which are both faced with globalization and social security reforms, have similar perceptions of the securities and insecurities of home ownership. The paper is based on institutional studies and 20 interviews among home owners and ten interviews among tenants in both countries. The central issues here are the perceptions of (in)security and equity. The paper concludes that in both countries home ownership is perceived as a nest-egg and a 'pension in stone'. However, it is also associated with insecurity. In Germany many households saw house prices as a source of insecurity. This can be explained by strong fluctuations in house prices in Germany and the fear that the declining population might adversely affect the situation and hence the 'pension in stone'. In the Netherlands a policy change—particularly a change in tax relief for mortgage-holders—was the main worry.

Suggested Citation

  • Janneke Toussaint & Gudrun Tegeder & Marja Elsinga & Ilse Helbrecht, 2007. "Security and Insecurity of Home Ownership: Germany and the Netherlands," International Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 173-192.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:intjhp:v:7:y:2007:i:2:p:173-192
    DOI: 10.1080/14616710701308562

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:intjhp:v:7:y:2007:i:2:p:173-192. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.