Housing and wealth inequality

This page was last edited on 28 July 2020, at 19:16.

a house is both a shelter and an asset. the former addresses one of the most basic needs of households: living under a roof. the latter refers to housing being a vehicle for wealth accumulation. housing market dynamics result from between theses possibly conflicting dimensions. on the one hand, households seek good-quality housing to shelter their families and, nowadays, face a housing affordabilty crisis in several oecd conutries, especially in cities. on the other, homeowners concentrate large shares of their savings into housing and, in recent decades, have seen their wealth increase due to rising house prices in many places.

// this results in a thorny policy issue:how can gavernmentts encourage households to build up housing wealth while fostering access to good-quality, affordable housing? in a recent oecd paper, we provide evdence that lies at the heart of the policy trade-off between housing and wealth inequality.

//s vtodd-country comparison of data in the ECB Households finance and consumption survey and the luxembourg wealth survey yields interesting insights about households' portfolios in a. across oecd countries, housing is the chief asset of the middle class. whereas housseholds in the top of the wealth distribution hold more diversified porfolios, including business and financial wealth, less wealthy households own mostly housing and least wealthy households own virtually nothing. Housing wealth is the main source of wealth for the median voter.