Homeownership out of reach? Intergenerational transfers and homeownership reproduction in middle class families in Rome, Italy

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Abstract

Access to homeownership for young adults is becoming more and more difficult. Italy – where homeownership rates for young adults are steadily decreasing – is a case in point. In the recent past, becoming homeowner was an obvious housing pathway for Italian young adults, even from lower-middle class families. If your parents were homeowner, you became homeowner as well, often with the help of intergenerational transfers. However, the Italian reproduction of homeownership is under severe pressure, as a result of the economic crisis and the subsequent austerity measures. Through in-depth interviews with young adults and their parents, this paper shows how deeply ingrained social expectations and aspirations surrounding homeownership – together with an objective lack of rental options – result in young adults staying longer in their parental home and becoming independent at a later age. This may have a negative impact on the social and economic dynamics within Italian society.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103277
Number of pages12
JournalCities
Volume116
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Homeownership
  • Intergenerational transfers
  • Italy
  • Middle-class
  • Young adults

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