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Home ownership and housing wealth inequalities among French young households, 1973-2013

Collection : Documents de travail

234, 2017, 34 pages

This article analyses the increasing inequality in home ownership and housing wealth between the lowest and the highest income groups among young households (ages 25-44), during the last forty years (Insee Housing surveys 1973-2013). While 34 per cent of young low income households were homeowners in 1973, the proportion had fallen to 16 per cent in 2013. Beyond macroeconomic factors (real estate prices and access to credit), using an Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition of trends we highlight the role of changes in family structures (rising proportion of lone-parent families and declining share of couples with children among the lowest income group) and the sharp decline in small rural ownership. We also show that family transfers play an important role in the 2000s; four in ten homeowners are helped by the family, of whom two even receive direct financial support for their home purchase. The proportion of households who receive a transfer increased significantly among wealthy households during the 2000s, which also contributes to the widening gap in home ownership between better-off and low income households.

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