Health status and housing tenure decisions of older Australians

Sefa Awaworyi Churchill, Siew Ling Yew, Thi Minh Thu Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This study empirically examines the effects of health status on housing tenure decisions of older Australians. Using longitudinal data drawn from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey covering 2001–2017, we measure health status using self-reported health scores and capture aspects of housing tenure decisions including homeownership, housing transition between owning and renting, and ownership downsizing or upsizing. Our results suggest that better health is associated with a higher probability of owning a home; a lower probability of transitioning from homeownership to renting; and a higher probability of transitioning from renting to homeownership. We also find a positive association between health and decisions to downsize and upsize although the probability is slightly higher for downsizing compared to upsizing. These findings are robust to a suite of sensitivity checks including alternative estimation methods, alternative measures of health and housing transitions, and to different population subgroups. We find that the preference to continue living in an area is an important channel through which health influences homeownership and housing transition between owning and renting. Our findings point to the need for policies that promote healthy aging and improve home and community healthcare services.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalReal Estate Economics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • elderly
  • health
  • housing

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