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Housing price volatility and downsizing in later life

Banks, J.; Blundell, R.; Oldfield, Z.; Smith, J.P.; (2007) Housing price volatility and downsizing in later life. (NBER Working Papers 13496). National Bureau of Economic Research: Cambridge, US. Green open access

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In this paper, we modeled several types of housing transitions of the elderly in two countries -- Britain and the United States. One important form of these transitions involves downsizing of housing consumption, the importance of which among older households is still debated. This downsizing takes multiple forms, including reductions in the number of rooms per dwelling and the value of the home. There is also evidence that this downsizing is greater when house price volatility is greater and that American households try to escape housing price volatility by moving to places that are experience significantly less housing price volatility. Our comparative evidence in suggests that there is less evidence of downsizing in Britain. Our results indicate that housing consumption appears to decline with age in the US, even after controlling for the other demographic and work transitions associated with age that would normally produce such a decline. No such fall in housing consumption is found in Britain, largely because British households are much more likely to stay in their original residence.

Type: Working / discussion paper
Title: Housing price volatility and downsizing in later life
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13496
Language: English
Keywords: JEL classification: D12, D91
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Economics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/15306
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