My House or Our House? Pathways into Sole Homeownership in British Couples

Philipp M. Lersch, University of Cologne
Sergi Vidal, University of Queensland

Instead of assuming that both partners in couples own their homes jointly, we examine the individual ownership configurations within couples in Britain. Using longitudinal data from the British Household Panel Survey (1992-2008) and the UK Household Longitudinal Study (2010-2011) we answer two research questions: (1) How frequent is homeownership by only one partner, i.e. sole homeownership, in British couples? (2) What are the pathways into sole homeownership? We find that in 14% of couples in homeownership only one partner owns. For individuals in co-residing couples, transitions to sole homeownership are associated with more economic resources and with step children living in the home. Additionally, the entry into sole homeownership becomes less likely with longer partnership durations and for first-time married compared to never married cohabitants. No direct evidence is found that sole homeownership is more likely after marital separation. Sole ownership is positively associated with owning before current partnership formation.

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 Presented in Session P1. Marriage, Unions, Families, and Households