In context of poorly performing national economies and sustained employment insecurity since the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-2008, various UK and US studies have suggested that access for younger people to independent living, and to owner-occupied housing in particular, has been in decline.
Testing the wider validity of these findings, this paper uses cross-sectional data to deconstruct how and why pre to post-crisis changes in housing consumption patterns among 18-34 year olds have varied across the EU 15 countries.
Our results indicate a common trend towards diminishing access to home purchase among younger people. However, the extent of decreasing homeownership rates, as well as whether the rental sector or the parental home are used as alternative housing routes
depends on the country context.
The paper suggests that rather than being the direct outcome of economic recession and labour market contraction at the country level, post-crisis declines in young-age property ownership is primarily associated with housing systems, especially those most affected by shifting mortgage-credit access, and could thus be interpreted as a constituent of the volatile nature of more market-types residential capitalism.Nonetheless, in recent years there has been evidence of significant reorientations in housing approaches in some contexts, often in harmony with welfare regime shifts and, in some cases, in line with the emergence of a ‘postdevelopmental state’.
The working paper version is no longer available. A published journal article version is available through the link below.