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Housing and location choices of retiring households: Evidence from France

Collection : Documents de travail

162, 2009, 26 pages

In this paper, we study the mobility and housing choices of the elderly when retiring using household data collected in France. From a theoretical viewpoint, retirees are likely to decrease their housing quantity because of an income loss when retiring, but they may also increase it to benefit from more housing comfort for leisure. Using the 1992 Trois Générations survey, we first show that housing mobility at retirement is substantial in France, with a variety of self-reported motives. Then, using the 1994-2001 French Europanel survey, we find evidence of both upsizing and downsizing for mobile recent retirees. In many cases, housing adjustments lead to a correction of the initial disequilibrium between the number of rooms and the number of occupants. However, a significant proportion of mobile recent retirees improve the quality of their dwelling.

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