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The Meaning of Home and Affordability: Housing Trade-offs Among Seniors and Among 20-40 Year-olds

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Housing serves not just as shelter but deeply impacts a person's sense of security and identity.

This paper studies how creating a home balances affordability with factors like location, dwelling characteristics, and the broader sense of place. The study is part of the Affordable Housing for Generations research programme. It delves into the financial and non-financial trade-offs involved in housing decisions, from ongoing costs like mortgage payments and insurance to personal preferences and aspirations. The paper re-examines datasets focused on two life stages: family formation and retirement, highlighting the differences in housing choices at each stage. Younger households, especially in Auckland, face high house prices and limited affordable housing options, making homeownership challenging. Conversely, older New Zealanders, who historically expected to be mortgage-free homeowners by retirement, now often face mortgages or rent. Rising house prices and limited housing options further constrain seniors’ housing choices.

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