Linking Housing Trajectories and the Transition to Adulthood Among Canadian Young Adults

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 10:45
Oral Presentation
Meryn SEVERSON, University of Alberta, Canada
Michelle MAROTO, University of Alberta, Canada
Housing is the largest source of wealth for Canadian families, and homeownership is a major milestone in the housing trajectories of individuals, particularly for young adults. Although recognized as an important step in the life course, few studies integrate housing trajectories with the transition to adulthood. In this paper, we seek to rectify the lack of housing demography research in Canada with a study of transitions out of the parental home and into homeownership among 18-35 year olds in Canada. We analyze three waves of the Canadian General Social Survey (GSS), from 2001, 2006, and 2011. We first use these data to describe the living situations of young adults in Canada over a decade, focusing on homeownership. We then use logistic regression models to predict the likelihood of leaving the parental home and of homeownership. The findings show that although the proportion of young adults leaving the parental home has decreased since 2001, homeownership among young adults has actually increased across all three waves and all regions. We find that leaving the parental home and homeownership are intimately tied to other adult transitions in education, employment, relationships, and parenthood, as well as family background and the socioeconomic context surrounding young adults at the time. Our results also suggest there is growing socioeconomic and demographic distinction between young adults who are able to move out of their parental home and into homeownership and those who remain in the parental home, with important repercussions on lifetime wealth inequalities. As the first Canadian study to explore young adults' housing trajectories and the transition to adulthood since 2007, this research provides important understanding of the connections between housing and other life course transitions within a rapidly changing housing market.