We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Research & business

View Research Directory

Pathways of Housing Wealth and Well-being: precipitants and consequences of mortgage equity withdrawal in BHPS and HILDA

A research project of the Department of Geography.


This study is funded under the UK / Australian (ESRC/ARC) collaboration.

The aim is to use the BHPS and HILDA (the national longitudinal panel surveys of the partner countries) to explore the role of housing wealth generally, and mortgage equity withdrawal (MEW) in particular, in maintaining human welfare in economies where owner-occupation is the tenure de rigueur. This comparative study will explore the role and relevance of housing wealth as a tool for financial planning and a buffer against unexpected events. It will disentangle the financial elements of home owning – the extent to which it represents an asset, provides an insurance function, acts as security for borrowings - that promote or undermine well-being. It will weigh up the individual and institutional factors affecting the motives (and perhaps riskiness) prompting MEW through the application of modelling techniques that estimate the impact of institutional and personal factors on housing equity withdrawal. The research will be developed across three thematic areas which: emphasise the diversity of owner occupation; explore the relationships and inter-changeability of housing equity with other forms of savings, incomes and ’spending money’; and provide texture to new understandings of the concept of well-being in ways that are meaningful in relation to housing wealth and the life events that encase it.


From the Department of Geography

From other departments

Further information

For further information, please contact Professor Sarah Elizabeth Curtis.