Understanding Changing Housing Aspirations: a review of the evidence



Preece J, Crawford J, McKee K, Flint J & Robinson D (2020) Understanding Changing Housing Aspirations: a review of the evidence. Housing Studies, 35 (1), pp. 87-106.

This article reviews the literature on changing housing aspirations and expectations in contemporary housing systems. It argues that there is a conceptual and definitional gap in relation to the term ‘housing aspirations’, as distinct from expectations, preferences, choices and needs. The article sets out working definitions of these terms, before discussing the evidence on changing housing (and related) systems. Emerging research has begun to consider whether trends such as declining homeownership, affordability concerns, and precarious labour systems across a range of countries are fundamentally changing individuals’ aspirations for the forms of housing they aim to access at different stages of their lives. Whilst much of the research into housing aspirations has been considered in terms of tenure, and homeownership in particular, this article suggests that research needs to move beyond tenure and choice frameworks, to consider the range of dimensions that shape aspirations, from the political economy and the State to socialisation and individuals’ dispositions for housing.

housing; affordability; housing aspirations; housing choice; housing policy

Housing Studies: Volume 35, Issue 1

FundersEconomic and Social Research Council
Publication date31/12/2020
Publication date online01/04/2019
Date accepted by journal15/02/2019

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Dr Kim McKee

Dr Kim McKee

Senior Lecturer, Housing Studies

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