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Mortgage Market Maturity and Homeownership Inequality among Young Households: A Five-Country Perspective

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  • Alena Bicakova
  • Eva M. Sierminska

Abstract

This paper uses the newly constructed Luxembourg Wealth Study data to document cross-country variation in homeownership rates and the homeownership-income inequality among young households in Finland, Germany, Italy, the UK and the US, and relate it to cross-country differences in mortgage market maturity. We find that aside from Italy, homeownership rates and inequality in the four countries correspond to their mortgage take up rates and its distribution across income, reflecting the different degree of development of their respective mortgage markets. In Italy, alternative ways of financing, such as family transfers, substitute the limited mortgage availability and explains the second highest homeownership rate in our sample, despite the lowest mortgage take up. The mortgage market in the UK is the most open and the most equal, which leads to the highest and most equally distributed homeownership in this country as well. The mortgage market in Germany is on the other side of the spectrum with very low mortgage take-up rates and strong dependence of homeownership and mortgage take up on household income. Finland and the US are in-between. Counterfactual predictions suggest that although household characteristics play some role in explaining the variation in home ownership rates across the five countries, it is mostly the country specific effects of these characteristics determined by the institutional environment as well as the functioning of the housing and mortgage markets that drive the main result.

Suggested Citation

  • Alena Bicakova & Eva M. Sierminska, 2008. "Mortgage Market Maturity and Homeownership Inequality among Young Households: A Five-Country Perspective," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 90, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp90
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    Cited by:

    1. Alik-Lagrange, Arthur & Schmidt, Tobias, 2015. "The pattern of home ownership across cohorts and its impact on the net wealth distribution: Empirical evidence from Germany and the US," Discussion Papers 11/2015, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    2. Schmidt, Tobias & Alik-Lagrange, Arthur, 2016. "The Pattern of Home Ownership Across Age Cohorts and its Impact on the German Net Wealth Distribution," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145604, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Leo Kaas & Georgi Kocharkov & Edgar Preugschat & Nawid Siassi, 2017. "Low Homeownership in Germany - A Quantitative Exploration," CESifo Working Paper Series 6775, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Homeownership; credit constraints; mortgage market;

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand

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