Housing quality is known to be related to subjective well-being (SWB), but much less is known how this relationship varies with national contexts. This study addresses the association between housing tenure and housing quality on the one hand and the SWB of older Europeans on the other, given the differences in housing markets across Europe. Data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe were used, and linear regression models of SWB were estimated for 16 European countries. The findings indicate that being a renter is negatively related to SWB, while having a large house is positively associated with it. The negative effect of being a renter on SWB is small in several countries with accessible and well-regulated rental markets. Moreover, the difference in SWB between older people with a small and a large dwelling is somewhat smaller in countries with a high level of housing quality than in countries with lower housing quality. For each of our housing indicators, however, we also found countries for which the findings deviated from the general pattern. The findings imply that housing-market characteristics matter to how housing relates to SWB and, therefore, that housing-market interventions might affect this relationship.
Journal of Housing and the Built Environment – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 6, 2016
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