The homeownership of foreigners who live in Italy

Nicola Barban, University of Padua
Gianpiero Dalla Zuanna, University of Padua

At the end of 2007, about 4 million of foreign people live in Italy (20 years ago, they were only few thousands); they mainly get few-paid and “dirty” jobs, refused by Italians. The Italian housing situation is characterized by domination of ownership (from 1980 ahead); the desire of proximate among relatives; the progressive withdraw of the State from the house-market; the accelerating increase of prices (during the last 10 years). Consequently, for both Italians and foreigners it is practically impossible to find cheap and decourous rental solutions, and for foreigners, to buy a house could also be an element for accelerating the assimilation to the Italian population. AIM. In this paper we describe the housing arrangements of the foreign people stabilized in Italy, analysing also determinants of buying a house for Italians and foreigners. The common determinants could be: life-cycle, income, neighborhood pressure. For foreigners, the place of origin could also matter. DATA AND METHODS. ITAGEN2 is a survey of students aged 11-13, living in 48 Italian provinces during the school-year 2005-06 (12,000 Italians, 8,500 foreigners). A multilevel logit regression is fitted to the data - clustering pupils by school - where the response variable is the parents' ownership of the house. PRELIMINARY RESULTS. The connections between life-cycle and ownership are not the same for Italians and foreigners. For foreigners, the effect of life-cycle is obscured by the time of arrival. Income and neighborhood pressure work in the same expected direction for Italians and foreign people. The will of buying a house is stronger for foreign people coming from China and the Indian sub-continent. Generally speaking, our results support the idea that the constraints of buying a house, in Italy, accelerate the process of assimilation of foreign people.

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Presented in Session 47: Housing