Homeownership and Housing Transitions: Explaining the Demographic Composition
Authors: Eunseong Ma, Sarah Zubairy
Date: June 2019
Working Paper 1905
The homeownership rate was relatively stable for the few decades preceding 1995, followed by a large increase between 1995-2005 and a subsequent decline over the next ten years. Authors Eunseong Ma and Sarah Zubairy document the evolution of homeownership rate across various age groups for the period 1995-2015. Two interesting empirical findings emerge. First, there are uneven variations in the homeownership rates across age: it is large for the young, but small for the old. Second, the total variation is mostly driven by renter-to-owner transitions of the young. The authors also consider a life-cycle model featuring housing tenure decisions to explain these empirical facts. The analysis suggests that a variation in the debt-to-income limit plays a crucial role in accounting for the overall rise in homeownership and the uneven behavior across age groups.
Homeownership rate, Debt-to-income constraint, Life-cycle model