Housing Price Volatility and Downsizing in Later Life

James Banks, Richard Blundell, Zoë Oldfield and James P. Smith

in Research Findings in the Economics of Aging

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780226903064
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226903088 | DOI:
Housing Price Volatility and Downsizing in Later Life

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This chapter discusses several types of housing transitions made at older ages in Britain and the United States. The extent of residential mobility and the downsizing across multiple dimensions, including housing size (number of rooms), housing value, and ownership (as compared with renting) is looked upon. This chapter also looks at some of the determinants of mobility, with a particular focus on house price volatility, but also the role of major life events, such as retirement or widowhood. A particular contribution of the chapter is its analysis of a longer time horizon, in which there is more likely to be evidence of downsizing if it exists in the data. It is seen that after looking over a number of dimensions and over a number of transition intervals, downsizing is an important part of life for older households in both countries, but particularly in the United States.

Keywords: housing; price volatility; residential mobility; household

Chapter.  19685 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economics

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