Housing Tenure Transitions of Older Households: What is the Role of Child Proximity?



This study examines the role of proximity of children to their parents and recent moves of children within a proximate distance in housing tenure transitions of older households. This study is the first to investigate the interplay between health status of older households, moves of their children and a household's decision to make housing tenure transitions. In doing so, we rely on longitudinal household data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics with residential location information at the census tract level. The results demonstrate that after controlling for the financial and demographic characteristics of children, living near children reduces the likelihood of making a housing tenure transition for older households, but that the impact of distance is not monotonic with respect to the degree of geographic distances. The results also demonstrate that if a child enters or moves closer to her or his parents’ home, it increases the probability that older households exit homeownership. Finally, we find no evidence that children's moves mitigate the likelihood that their older parents whose health deteriorates become renters.