Age segregation and housing unaffordability: generational divides in housing opportunities and spatial polarisation in England and Wales

Albert Sabater*, Nissa Finney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Age is an important known driver of residential sorting, yet little is understood about how age segregation is affected by housing unaffordability. This relationship is particularly pertinent given trends of increasing housing inequalities and population ageing, in Europe and elsewhere. Using harmonised population data for small areas linked with local house price statistics and household incomes in England and Wales, this paper examines the scale of, and links between, residential age segregation and housing unaffordability. The results reveal a strong association between increasing housing unaffordability (for sales and rentals) and increasing residential age segregation (beyond other local characteristics). This association is particularly marked in urban and rich (least deprived) areas. This points to increasing spatial polarisation along the intersections of wealth and age: not only are the wealthiest parts of the country, where housing is particularly unaffordable, becoming increasingly demarcated socio-economically but also by age. This implies that age-related lifecourse processes are integral to the trends observed more broadly of increasing socio-spatial polarisation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)941-961
Number of pages21
JournalUrban Studies
Volume60
Issue number5
Early online date28 Sept 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2023

Keywords

  • Residential age segregation
  • Housing unaffordability
  • Intergenerational fairness
  • Socio-spatial inequalities
  • Spatial polarisation
  • England and Wales

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