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Housing wealth and housing decisions in old age: sale and reversion

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Population ageing brings new challenges to long-term household economic decisions. In the event of old-age dependency, housing assets become a key self-insurance device. However, little empirical evidence has been reported regarding an individual's expectations of having to use their housing wealth for such a purpose. This paper draws upon two complementary data sources to empirically examine: (1) the influence of housing assets on an individual's willingness-to-sell (WTS) their dwelling for care purposes, and (2) the willingness to take out a reverse mortgage contract loan in the event of old-age dependency. The paper's findings suggest that homeowners' WTS in old age is unaffected by their income or housing assets and is, rather, determined by socio-environmental housing characteristics and the individual's health and personal needs. Conversely, the study finds that the uptake of home reversion loans is largely dependent on income or education, but not on a household's housing assets.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/27838/

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