Home owners' perceptions of and responses to risk

A. Jones, M. Elsinga, D. Quilgars, J. Toussaint

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Home ownership sectors in most European countries have experienced growth in recent decades and by the mid-1990s the majority of EU15 households were home owners. While a great deal of attention has been paid to the rise in home ownership per se, the extent to which households in different EU member states strategize about the positive and negative risks of home ownership, particularly in relation to other risks in their lives, has not been researched. Contemporary debate suggests that society is a riskier one than in earlier times and home owners face a number of risks associated with changes in labour markets and national social security systems. This paper draws on interviews with households across eight European member states and examines households' perceptions of the security and insecurity aspects of home ownership and their responses to perceived risk. The analysis suggests that respondents' views are shaped by a wide range of factors, including at least to some extent the institutional context. Overall, however, respondents tended not to perceive negative risks and demonstrated a strong belief in the security aspects of home ownership.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-150
Number of pages21
JournalEuropean Journal of Housing Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007

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