1993 volume 25(11) pages 1559 – 1572

Cite as:
McLaverty P, Yip N M, 1993, "The preference for owner-occupation" Environment and Planning A 25(11) 1559 – 1572

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The preference for owner-occupation

P McLaverty, N M Yip

Received 13 January 1993

Abstract. There have been a number of surveys of people's housing-tenure preferences in the last few years, all of which show large majorities preferring to own rather than rent their dwelling. Debate rages, however, about how the survey findings should be interpreted. The theoretical debate has not been helped by the limited information supplied in many of the surveys. Using data in the 1978 General Household Survey (GHS), Littlewood made a more detailed analysis of tenure preferences, providing a basis for future longitudinal studies of changing tenure preferences. In the 1988 GHS, respondents were asked the same questions as in 1978 about their housing-tenure preferences. The findings of the 1988 survey have been analysed and, in this paper, those findings are compared with the results of Littlewood's analysis of the 1978 data and provide some important information which can contribute to a theoretical understanding of changing tenure preferences and to the debates about the meaning of expressed tenure preferences. Where possible Littlewood's methods have been replicated; where this was not possible, an attempt has been made to give an explanation in the appropriate part of the text. Also, Littlewood's analysis has been extended in certain areas. However, it is argued that although some important information is provided in this paper, if an understanding of the significance of people's housing-tenure preferences is to be achieved, more in-depth interviewing of a qualitative or discursive nature is needed.

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