Parental background and housing outcomes in young adulthood

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Scholars and policy-makers are concerned that young adults’ housing opportunities are becoming more dependent on their family background. This could hinder social mobility and exacerbate inequality. Using data from three cohorts of young people drawn from the Office for National Statistics Longitudinal Study of England and Wales, this study examines how parental attributes in childhood are linked to young adults’ housing outcomes two decades later. The results show that young adults’ housing outcomes have changed considerably over time and are persistently stratified by parental class and tenure in ways that vary by gender. Housing outcomes have become somewhat more polarised by parental tenure over time as the children of renters became relatively less likely to enter homeownership and more likely to rent privately. This suggests that renters became an increasingly ‘marginalised minority’ in the late twentieth century, with consequences for their children’s housing careers and future social inequality.

family, housing tenure, intergenerational transmission, stratification, young adults
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Housing Studies
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Informa UK Limited
The paper is supported by an ESRC Future Research Leaders award [ES/L009498/1]. Match funding is supplied by the Isaac Newton Trust.