Home ownership has been a source of concern for many EU28 governments, especially since the start of the economic crisis in 2008-09. After five-to-six years of persistently weak economic performance and in the context of the recently enacted mortgage credit directive – which should affect the principal funding channel of housing purchases – it seems timely to look at recent home ownership behaviours across the EU28, with special emphasis on the major changes. Recent macroeconomic data reveal three striking phenomena: highly diverse home ownership rates across countries – still; significant contractions in ownership in the UK and Ireland (especially among families); and marked contractions in ownership among poorer households in the EU15 since 2007.
This ECRI Commentary is one of two on the topic of home ownership in the EU, published simultaneously by the same author; ECRI Commentary No.14, entitled “Home ownership, labour markets and the economic crisis” looks at the effects of high levels of home ownership, especially on labour markets.
Sylvain Bouyon is a CEPS-ECRI Research Fellow.