Starting from Unequal Positions: Patterns of Young Households Starting on the Amsterdam Housing Market

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 6:00 PM
Room: 422
Oral Presentation
Cody HOCHSTENBACH , Urban Geographies, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Willem R. BOTERMAN , University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
This paper takes a broad perspective regarding the success with which young people can leave their parental home and become an independent household in Amsterdam. High demand pressures on the local housing market and the financial crisis are seen to place constraints on the accessibility for young households. Nevertheless, paradoxically, especially the influx of young households currently contributes to Amsterdam’s population growth. However – and most importantly to this paper – previous research suggest that inequalities between different starter groups have grown. These inequalities are often transferred from one generation to the next. Using longitudinal individual register data this paper looks at patterns of inequality between young households with different backgrounds as they make their first steps as independent households. Especially their parental background is of importance to this analysis.

Our data suggests that the number of starter households with wealthy parents and following university education entering the Amsterdam housing market is growing, whereas disadvantaged starter groups are increasingly excluded. We will analyze how socioeconomic and parental backgrounds influence young households entrance on the Amsterdam housing market. Included elements are the age of nest-leaving, tenure type they move into, the type of household they form, and the chance of moving back to their parental home after a brief period of independent living (‘boomerang kids’).

Processes of gentrification have made most of Amsterdam’s inner-ring neighbourhoods more expensive and difficult to enter. This results in a spatial mismatch between the demands of young households for inner-city living and the supply of relatively affordable and accessible dwellings located more peripherally. This paper looks at the spatial production and reproduction of inequalities, which have been transferred between generations. Increasingly, we see that starters with wealthy parents move to the most expensive neighbourhoods, whereas disadvantaged residents increasingly concentrate within peripheral parts of the city.