Owner-occupier

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An owner-occupier (also known as an owner-occupant or home owner) is a person who lives in and owns the same home. It is a type of housing tenure. The home of the owner-occupier may be, for example, a house, apartment, condominium, or a housing cooperative. The immovable property of the owner, which includes the home and the land upon which it sits, is known as the real estate.

Acquisition[edit]

Some homes are constructed by the owners with the intent to occupy. Many are inherited. A large number are purchased, as new homes from a real-estate developer or as an existing home from a previous landlord or owner-occupier.

A house is usually the most expensive single purchase an individual or family makes, and often costs several times the annual household income. Given the high cost, most individuals do not have enough savings on hand to pay the entire amount outright. In developed countries, mortgage loans are available from financial institutions in return for interest. If the home owner fails to meet the agreed repayment schedule, a foreclosure (known as a repossession in some countries) may result.

Government assistance[edit]

In several government-run home sale programs, such as those run by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, owner-occupants are given preferential consideration on bids offered; some programs such as "Officer Next Door" are limited to certain professions who are required to be owner-occupants.[clarification needed]

Pros and cons[edit]

Home ownership gives occupants the right to modify the building and land as they please (subject to government, homeowner association, and deed restrictions), protects them from eviction, and creates a right to occupation which can be inherited. In some jurisdictions, it also confers certain legal rights with regard to abutters.

Houses and the land they sit on are expensive, and the combination of monthly mortgage, insurance, maintenance and repairs, and property tax payments are sometimes greater than monthly rental costs. Buildings may also gain and lose substantial value due to real estate market fluctuations, and selling a property can take a long time, depending on market conditions. This can make home ownership more constraining if the homeowner intends to move at a future date. Some home owners see their purchase as an investment and intend to either sell or rent the property after renovating or letting the house appreciate in value (known as flipping if done quickly).

Compared to renters and absentee landlords, owner-occupiers are sometimes seen as more responsible toward property maintenance and community concerns, since they are more directly affected.[1]

Traditionally home-ownership has been encouraged by governments in Western countries (especially Anglosphere countries) because it was thought to help people acquire wealth, to encourage savings, and promote civic engagement. However the housing market crash of 2008 in most of the English-speaking world has caused academic and policy-makers to question this logic.[2]

International statistics[edit]

Percentage of owner-occupied units in urban areas, by country
Country % Owner-Occupied Units in Urban AreasUrban Population, % of Total
Argentina67%92%
Armenia96%64%
Australia68%89%
Azerbaijan71%52%
Brazil74%87%
Bulgaria87%73%
Canada68%81%
Chile69%89%
China89%45%
Colombia50%75%
Costa Rica75%94%
Czech Republic47%74%
Denmark54%87%
Egypt37%43%
France47%78%
Germany43%74%
Haiti60%48%
Hong Kong53%100%
Hungary93%68%
India87%30%
Indonesia67%54%
Italy80%68%
Kazakhstan97%-
Kenya-22%
Republic of Korea56%82%
Malawi-19%
Malaysia-72%
Mexico71%78%
Mongolia-58%
Morocco62%57%
Namibia69%35%
Netherlands59%83%
New Zealand67%87%
Nigeria10%50%
Norway77%78%
Pakistan-37%
Panama66%75%
Peru-72%
Philippines80%66%
Poland69%61%
Russia81%73%
Rwanda-19%
Senegal-43%
Singapore87%100%
South Africa62%62%
Spain85%77%
Sri Lanka82%15%
Sweden41%85%
Switzerland40%74%
Tanzania-26%
Thailand75%34%
Tunisia78%67%
Turkey81%70%
Uganda-13%
Ukraine-68%
United Kingdom50%90%
United States65%82%
Uruguay59%93%
Venezuela83%94%
Vietnam-28%
Zimbabwe-38%

Source: Housing Finance Information Network (HOFINET)[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]