The Impact of Housing Tenure on Financial Wellbeing Among Elderly Australians

Gilles E. Gignac*, Adrian Gepp, Terence J. O’Neill, Rui Xue

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Homeownership rates are declining in many countries and the potential impact on financial wellbeing is largely unknown. Additionally, the potential impact may be expected to be larger for women than men, as women tend to value homeownership more than men. Finally, financial literacy may play a role on financial wellbeing via a positive effect onto housing tenure (i.e., renter, mortgagor, outright homeowner). On the basis of a community sample of older Australians (N = 2608), we tested a model with housing tenure as a predictor of financial wellbeing, controlling for the effects of wealth, income, age, and marital status. Housing tenure yielded a significant, positive, unique effect onto financial wellbeing. We failed to find evidence that the effect of housing tenure on financial wellbeing was larger for women than men. Finally, financial literacy was associated positively with financial wellbeing; and, the effect was entirely mediated positively by housing tenure, wealth and income. We conclude that outright homeownership may accord approximately 10% greater financial wellbeing than renting (and ≈ 6% greater than mortgaged) in Australian seniors. Furthermore, higher levels of financial literacy may play a unique role in facilitating better housing tenure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalSocial Indicators Research
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Dec 2023

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