Fertility Cycles, Age Structure and Housing Demand



Since the early 1990s, a number of researchers have put forward evidence of strong demographic effects on housing demands. More recently, a number of studies have pointed to the effect of housing market conditions on family formation. This implies that housing markets are influenced by population change, but also that the housing market conditions influence population change. In this study, a model of demographic effects on the housing market that has been estimated on regional panel data will be used to explore these interrelationships. First, it is shown that the age effects identified in sub-national data are present also in cross-national data. Second, it is shown that high demographic pressure on house prices is associated with low fertility. The findings are discussed in relation to the Easterlin's hypothesis about the effects of cohort crowding on fertility. In Easterlin's model, cohort effects on earnings drive fertility shifts. The analysis presented, herein, indicates that cohort effects in the housing market can be equally important. Finally, the estimated models are used to outline possible future trends in house prices and fertility. The results indicate that house price increases can slow down and that there can be some recovery from very low fertility rates.