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New article published

last modified Aug 12, 2016 09:58 AM
Has social mobility in the housing system declined? New evidence from England and Wales 1971-2011

A new article published today in the journal Housing Studies investigates how parental background has shaped the early housing careers of three cohorts of Britons. The study's main aim was to examine whether social mobility in housing has declined over time as parental factors have become increasingly important predictors of children's housing attainments.

The results show that intergenerational continuities in the housing system are nothing new. Parental socio-economic status (in terms of social class and housing tenure) has long been a significant predictor of young adults' housing career development, as young people's homeownership prospects are boosted by having parents who own their home and have advantaged jobs. However, the most important factors shaping young people's housing trajectories in recent decades have been aspects of their own life development such as educational attainments, health, labour force participation and family status.

Nevertheless the study also finds that there have been some important- albeit fairly small- changes in patterns of social mobility in the housing system. Even after taking other factors into account, the children of renters have become slightly less likely to enter homeownership over time relative to the children of owners. Over time the children of social tenants have also become increasingly and disproportionately likely to rent privately into their thirties.

The paper is freely available from the journal website and can also be downloaded here.