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Last Updated: November 24, 2008


Do we really understand home ownership rates? An international study
Carl Gwin and Ong Seow-Eng, April 2004

Using UN data 1993-1998, this study demonstrates that in developed countries:

  • Increases in income are associated with increases in the percentage who choose to own
  • The price-to-rent ratio is an important factor in tenure choice.

However, lower income countries have relatively higher home ownership rates. This is unlikely to be due to relatively higher costs of owning in developed countries, because on the contrary, most studies show that the price-to-rent ratio is lower in developed countries. Probably it is due to greater provision of social housing in high-income societies.

A multitude of tenure forms in South East Asia
Global Tenant, April 2004

Rates of home ownership in South East Asia vary from very low (20% in Singapore) to 94% in Taiwan. Generally the wealthy prefer home ownership, but the public and rented sector tends to be large in cities where land is very limited, as in Tokyo (where rental housing accounts for over half of all modern dwellings), Singapore and Hong Kong. In China, 47% of the housing stock is owner-occupied, and Beijing continues to promote home-ownership.

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