The Two Dimensions of Housing Inequality in Europe
Are High Home Ownership Rates an Indicator of Low Housing Values?

Kathrin Kolb, Nora Skopek, Hans-Peter Blossfeld


Exploring inequalities in home ownership as an important component of household wealth contributes to the understanding of social stratification in modern societies. We argue that inequalities in housing are not only manifested by differential access to home ownership, but also by differences in housing values, a somewhat neglected aspect in research hitherto. Applying data from the “Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe” (SHARE), we compare home ownership rates and housing values between 13 European countries. Our results suggest that housing inequality is indeed a two-dimensional phenomenon. Most surprisingly, migration status has a negative impact on the probability of home ownership in European countries, but not on the mean housing value. In addition, we exploratively study the relationship between these two dimensions of housing inequality. Our analyses show a negative though not significant relationship between home ownership rates and housing values.


Housing; Wealth; Social Inequality; Europe; SHARE

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