Journal Article

Better off households moving to more deprived areas: What is happening? Why?


Economic theories of residential location suggest that households tend to live in neighbourhoods with similar households. Yet in England we have seen increasing evidence of better off households moving to live in more deprived areas, especially since the financial crisis. Here we ask whether these household decisions are more a matter of choice or constraint. Our results suggest that household attributes are consistently important in decision making but household behaviour also relates closely both to the extent of market tension and to individual financial constraints - with households in pressured areas particularly affected by worsening affordability. Supply policy, which has tended to concentrate new building in deprived areas has helped facilitate such moves. A particularly important issue in a rapidly changing housing environment is the extent to which tenure and location appear often to be joint decisions - with many better-off households choosing to buy in more deprived areas. Those who move to or within more deprived areas as owner-occupiers are positive about both their housing and tenure choice but not about their location; private tenants on the other hand appear relatively unhappy with their dwelling, their neighbourhood and their tenure - in both cases reflecting trade-offs and constraints.

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Cho, Youngha
Whitehead, Christine

Oxford Brookes departments

School of the Built Environment


Year of publication: 2021
Date of RADAR deposit: 2021-06-15

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