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Journal Article

Family formation, parental background and young adults’ first entry into homeownership in Britain and Germany


Publication date

08 Nov 2018


Although previous research shows that family dynamics and parental socioeconomic status influence the timing of young adults? first entry into homeownership, much less is known about how the role of family factors may vary across countries with different housing systems. In this article, we use panel survey data from Britain and Germany to compare how family life course careers and parental socioeconomic background influence young adults? initial entry into homeownership in these two divergent national contexts. The results show that in Britain, first-time homeownership transitions are tightly synchronized with partnership formation. By contrast, in Germany first moves into homeownership typically occur later around or after the arrival of children. Parental owner-occupation accelerates entry into homeownership in both contexts, while the effects of other parental characteristics are relatively muted. Furthermore, the results highlight how individual socioeconomic factors are critical determinants of entering owner-occupation. This is particularly true in Britain where there is a strong socioeconomic gradient in first-time homeownership transitions.

Published in

Housing Studies





Young People, Households, Family Formation And Dissolution, Life Course Analysis, Social Stratification, and Housing Market


Online Early; Open Access; This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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