2003 volume 35(2) pages 323 – 339

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Clark W A V, Huang Y, 2003, "The life course and residential mobility in British housing markets" Environment and Planning A 35(2) 323 – 339

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The life course and residential mobility in British housing markets

William A V Clark, Youqin Huang

Received 7 February 2002; in revised form 2 September 2002

Abstract. There is a substantial research literature on residential mobility in general, and the role of housing space in triggering moves in particular. The authors extend that research to mobility in British housing markets, using data from the British Household Panel Survey. They confirm the applicability of the general residential mobility model and also confirm the value both of pooled cross-sectional and of true longitudinal models of residential change. Age, tenure, and room stress (housing-space requirements) are found to be significant predictors of moving. In addition, the life course 'triggers' of marital-status change and, in some situations, birth of a child play important roles in moving within housing markets in the United Kingdom. The same model, with somewhat lower levels of fit, is also significant for the London region. Variables that measure the desire to move and neighborhood satisfaction also play a role in predicting local moves: those who like their neighborhood are generally less likely to move. The results offer support for the view that residential mobility is a demographically driven process which also reflects the connection with neighborhood contexts.

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