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Second Homes: Households' Life Dream or (Wrong) Investment?

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While purchasing the primary home is mainly motivated by essential consumption needs, a second house has generally been considered a good investment. However, second homes may result in disparate final uses, including unprofitable ones. We contribute to the scant literature on second houses by empirically investigating the cases of unrented second homes, which represent the most notable unprofitable use. We use the 2002-2012 Bank of Italy Survey on Household Income and Wealth which also provides information on real estates actual use. Our results highlight: a gender gap, whereby the unprofitable use is more frequent among male; no association with household’s economic characteristics; and, a strong association with the real estate features, with inherited dwellings more likely to be unprofitably used. Besides casting some doubts on the goodness of second homes as an investment, our results have important policy implications on the housing and rental markets, calling for policy or regulatory interventions.

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Paper provided by Tor Vergata University, CEIS in its series CEIS Research Paper with number 351.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 04 Aug 2012
Date of revision: 04 Aug 2012
Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:351
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  1. Bertocchi, Graziella & Brunetti, Marianna & Torricelli, Costanza, 2014. "Who holds the purse strings within the household? The determinants of intra-family decision making," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 65-86.
  2. Tullio Jappelli & Mario Padula & Giovanni Pica, 2014. "Do Transfer Taxes Reduce Intergenerational Transfers?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 248-275, February.
  3. Riccardo Calcagno & Maria Cesira Urzi Brancati, 2014. "Do more financially literate households invest less in housing? Evidence from Italy," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(1), pages 430-445.
  4. repec:cai:poeine:pope_701_0157 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Todd Sinai & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2005. "Owner-Occupied Housing as a Hedge Against Rent Risk," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 763-789.
  6. Michael F. Lovenheim & C. Lockwood Reynolds, 2013. "The Effect of Housing Wealth on College Choice: Evidence from the Housing Boom," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(1), pages 1-35.
  7. John Y. Campbell, 2006. "Household Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(4), pages 1553-1604, August.
  8. Sierminska, Eva & Doorley, Karina, 2013. "To Own or Not to Own? Household Portfolios, Demographics and Institutions in a Cross-National Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 7734, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Christophe André, 2010. "A Bird's Eye View of OECD Housing Markets," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 746, OECD Publishing.
  10. Marianna Brunetti & Elena Giarda & Costanza Torricelli, 2012. "Is Financial Fragility a Matter of Illiquidity? An Appraisal for Italian Households," CEIS Research Paper 242, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 18 Jul 2012.
  11. Orazio P. Attanasio & Laura Blow & Robert Hamilton & Andrew Leicester, 2009. "Booms and Busts: Consumption, House Prices and Expectations," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(301), pages 20-50, February.
  12. Bloze, Gintautas & Skak, Morten, 2014. "Owning, letting and demanding second homes," Discussion Papers of Business and Economics 1/2014, Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark.
  13. Makoto Nakajima & Irina A. Telyukova, 2013. "Housing in Retirement Across Countries," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2013-18, Center for Retirement Research.
  14. Gattini, Luca & Ganoulis, Ioannis, 2012. "House price responsiveness of housing investments across major European economies," Working Paper Series 1461, European Central Bank.
  15. Hyun-Soo Choi & Harrison Hong & Jeffrey Kubik & Jeffrey P. Thompson, 2014. "When Real Estate is the Only Game in Town," NBER Working Papers 19798, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Youqin Huang & Chengdong Yi, 2010. "Consumption and Tenure Choice of Multiple Homes in Transitional Urban China," International Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(2), pages 105-131.
  17. Harminder Battu & Ada Ma & Euan Phimister, 2008. "Housing Tenure, Job Mobility and Unemployment in the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(527), pages 311-328, March.
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