Housing assets and intergenerational dynamics in East Asian societies

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Summary

Rising home ownership rates, volatile property markets and deregulated financial systems are increasingly important ingredients in the shaping of advantage and opportunity in contemporary societies. This cross-national, comparative research examines how the role of housing assets influences relationships within the family and across generations in East Asian societies. Different pattern and pace of economic and social change mean that the distribution of housing wealth may vary substantially across societies in the region. In some countries, it is an older generation of home owners which has benefited from extraordinary levels of house price inflation. In other countries, it is a younger, emergent middle class which is accumulating housing wealth on a scale far removed from the experiences of their parents and grandparents. The fieldwork will be conducted in three dynamic cities in East Asia: Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. The research will involve interviews with three generations (grandparents, parents and adult children) in 12 families in each city; and will highlight how work, entry to home ownership, and asset accumulation play out over the life-course.