This paper uses a unique data set with housing consumption, well-being measures and time use patterns to explore the implications of homeownership. After controlling for income, housing quality and health, female homeowners are not better off than renters by a variety of measures, both global and situational. Instead, they derive significantly more pain from their house and home – comparable to the unadjusted increase from a doubling in home value. Differences in financial security, health, self-esteem, perceived control, stress level cannot account for the well-being results. One potential mechanism is time use differences: female homeowners tend to spend less time on enjoyable activities, such as active leisure.
Bucchianeri, G. W. (2011). The American Dream or the American Delusion? The Private and External Benefits of Homeownership for Women. working paper, University of Pennsylvania.