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Homeownership and the transition to parenthood

Homeownership and the transition to parenthood

Authors: Ann Berrington (University of Southampton, CPC), Valentina Tocchioni (University of Florence), Daniele Vignoli (University of Florence) and Agnese Vitali (University of Trento)

Couples’ preferences to own their own home before having their first child have been undermined by rising housing unaffordability among young adults. Their work uses data collected between 1991 and 2016 to investigate how the link between homeownership and entering parenthood has changed over time in Britain.

Their findings reveal that, in comparison to the 1990s, the likelihood of becoming a parent has declined among homeowners in recent years, while childbearing rates among private renters have remained stable. Owner-occupiers and private renters, therefore, have become more similar in terms of their likelihood of entering parenthood.

Overall, their findings question the classical assumption of a positive link between homeownership and transition to parenthood. They propose that the association has changed due to increased housing uncertainty, for homeowners too. This policy briefing provides an overview of the key findings of an open access Demography article available at