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By : Hans Christian Sandlie

Housing consumption has been rising throughout the post-war era in Norway. However, at the end of the 1990s there was a decline in consumption among young age groups. This tendency is confirmed by newer data: consumption among younger households has stabilised at a lower level than used to be the case. Less of these households are owner-occupiers and they live in smaller dwellings compared to fifteen years ago. In this paper the life course paradigm is used to explain these consumption changes. We find no signs of altering housing preferences among today's youth. The reduced housing consumption among this group can instead be seen in relation to new ways of organising the life course. Postponement of important life events such as completing one's education, entering the labour market, and starting a family of one's own will also postpone the point at which one becomes a homeowner for the first time. The observed decline in housing consumption among young household can, in other words, be understood as a delay in consumption. New life courses among today's youth entail new ways of adapting to the housing market.
Keywords : Housing Choice, Housing Preferences, Life Course, Housing Careers.

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