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By George Fallis (Auth.)

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If a household has any savings, it will choose to own housing. 13 This simple, one-period graphical model conveys some idea of why some households choose to rent housing and others choose to own. But there are other reasons besides non-neutral income taxes. 4 Household Choices as Owner and Renter Imputed Income Exemption Composite Good Housing Services P2 (m + c) SOURCE: Based on Fallis (1983a). income limit the size of mortgage that can be obtained. Transactions costs are important: homeowners face higher transactions costs of selling and moving than renters.

The demand for housing services in the current period falls, but the effect on future periods is ambiguous. This analysis makes the usual ceteris paribus assumption; that is, the current price changes and all other things remain the same. However, a change in the current price may affect what one expects housing prices to be in the future; or what income will be in the future. A model incorporating an expectations process could produce different results. 12 Tenure choice is introduced into life-cycle models by recognizing that in each period the household pays the rental price of housing services if it chooses to rent housing and user cost if it chooses to own housing stock.

In many American metropolitan areas this is the case. It is less so in Canada; several metropolitan areas have only one government, and many others have local governments but also an area-wide second level of government that provides many important local public services. Nevertheless it is clear that households take account of public services and tax levels when choosing a house - for example houses near a good school command a premium - and there is evidence from the United States of Tiebout-type behaviour.

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