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Housing and the economy

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Housing is crucial for well-being and access to good-quality affordable housing is key to achieving a number of social policy objectives.

Housing is also an important part of households' wealth and it affects economic resilience because mortgages are the most common form of debt among households.

A well-functioning housing market enhances geographical mobility and makes it easier for workers to relocate from less prosperous to fast-growing areas with better job opportunities

Housing is crucial for well-being and access to good-quality affordable housing is key to achieving a number of social policy objectives.

Housing is also an important part of households' wealth and it affects economic resilience because mortgages are the most common form of debt among households.

A well-functioning housing market enhances geographical mobility and makes it easier for workers to relocate from less prosperous to fast-growing areas with better job opportunities

Housing policies for tackling the COVID-19 crisis

Most governments have implemented measures to help renters and homeowners cope with unprecedented income losses and staggering uncertainty amid the COVID-19 crisis. The OECD has collected evidence on the coverage of such policies across OECD countries.

Housing policy amid Covid-19, 2020, OECD Economics Department Working Paper, forthcoming.

Summary: Round table on Housing Policy Responses to the COVID-19 crisis

Housing is the most important asset of households

Housing matters for the distribution of wealth. Work has shown that housing tends to equalise the distribution of wealth. This is because housing is the most important and most widely-owned asset in household balance sheets, representing a much higher source of wealth among middle class households than at the top. 

 

 

Mobility varies widely across countries

Residential mobility varies widely across OECD countries. Mobility is highest in Australia and in the United States, where more than 40% of individuals move over a five-year-period, followed by Nordic countries, while it is low in Southern and Eastern European countries, where less than 10% of individuals move over a five-year-period.

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Publications

Events

Housing Policies Responses to the COVID-19 (Round table, 14 May 2020, OECD Headquarters, Paris)

Policies for more Sustainable Housing (Workshop, 24 February 2020, OECD Headquarters, Paris)