"Move on Up" - Exploring Later-Life Residential Mobility in the Netherlands between 2015-2020
Bruins, Hsiung Ming
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The issues involving the increasingly ageing (Dutch) population have progressively become a body of interest of policy makers, and academics. This unprecedented situation of having more elderly does not only pressurises contemporary healthcare systems, but also the mobility in the housing market. The older adults, people aged 55 years and above, tend to have relatively the lowest residential mobility of all age groups. This Master’s thesis will delve into which (contextual) factors contribute to older adults’ propensity to relocate, and what is hampering prone to relocate older adults to realize their move in the 2015-2020 period. These limitations unveil a discrepancy in terms of what older adults intended to do (stated preference), and their actual residential behaviour (revealed preference). In short, this research is inspired by, and tries to build further on, previous studies executed on stated preference (Meskers, 2020), revealed preference (Van der Pers et al., 2015), and the discrepancy between stated and revealed preference (De Groot et al., 2008). This has resulted into the formulation of the central research question: ‘To what extent is there a discrepancy between stated preference and revealed preference in terms of relocation of older adults in the Netherlands during 2015-2020, and what is the influence of triggering factors (especially intergenerational proximity, widowhood, and health) on the propensity of older adults to relocate, and probability to realize their relocation intention? To answer this research question, logistic regression analyses have been applied using longitudinal data from the Housing Research Netherlands (HRN), and the Social Statistical Database (SSD). The HRN 2015 dataset consists of detailed information about 73660 respondents in the Netherlands. In 2015, these individuals were interviewed about their housing situation at the time, their propensity to move, and their residential preferences in the nearby future. The HRN 2015 was even further enriched with socio-economic information, such as for example income. Combining the HRN 2015 with the SSD register data, following the methods of De Groot et al. (2008), resulted in the possibility to follow respondents residential behaviour between the 2015-2020 period. Thanks to the support of Companen (Advisory Bureau for the Housing Market and Residential Environment) and Statistics Netherlands (CBS), this data became available for this research. The research in itself can be divided into roughly two parts: Firstly, by creating a multinomial logistic regression model (Model A), the influence of factors (i.e., variables) driving older adults’ propensity to relocate (stated preference) has been estimated. Secondly, with the construction of the binary logistic regression Models B1 and B2, the influence of factors on the probability of realizing a relocation (revealed preference) has been calculated. Concluding, the central research question cannot be answered in simple terms. Older adults’ stated and revealed residential preferences have been proven to be complex, as the interplay between the numerous factors influencing these preferences is not completely straightforward. Nonetheless, this Master’s thesis has ascertained the special role of older adults’ attachment to their dwelling. This attachment keeps these older adults, whether they intended to relocate or not in 2015, from realizing a relocation. This attachment could consist of having family and friends living nearby, accumulated memories over the decades, having little financial issues, which combined could result in a low urgency to relocate.