UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Urban housing tenure choice from an economic and demographic perspective Lemieux, William J.


This thesis evaluates the influence of family life cycle stages as a factor of residential tenure choice. The importance of tenure choice is being more widely recognized through the greater use of housing market and demand models. The purpose of this thesis is to contribute to the knowledge of the tenure decision process so that planners, policy makers, and other market participants are more effective in achieving their goals. In this study an empirical analysis is performed using urban Canadian data for households with head's between the age of 25 and 44. Eight family life cycle stages are used to classify households. A joint tenure choice and mobility model is used to test for ownership probability differences among the life cycle stages. Within the study framework allowances are made for recent and non-recent movers. The results indicate that family life cycle stages impact on tenure choice, and that this occurs outside of their impact on expected mobility (or holding period). The life cycle stage impact is strong through the effect of household reactions to income and wealth, and weak through just group membership. This suggests that utility preferences for ownership tend to shift as households progress through various life cycle stages. When elasticities are estimated they are found to reflect the different housing consumption and mobility decisions of households at different family life cycle stages. This also supports the concept of a changing utility preference function. In general this study finds that tenure choice is affected by consumption and mobility influences that result from different family life cycle stage demands. Further research studies, government and business policies, dealing with residential tenure choice are encouraged to recognize family life cycle stages and the impact of household expected mobility.

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