Lisa Dettling and Melissa Schettini Kearney find that house prices change whether or not a couple decides to have a baby.
They look at changes in home prices, and find that a 10% increase in home prices leads to a 1% decrease in births among non-homeowners. They argue that the cost of housing is the largest cost to raising a child– more than food, daycare, or education. So if you don’t own a home already, rising housing costs increase your cost to getting a larger space to raise kids. Related to this idea, they find that the negative effects are stronger for each additional kid than they are for the first kid, and they’re stronger for mothers over the age of 30.
They also find that a 10% increase in home prices leads to a 4.5% increase in births among home owners. Why? They argue that home-owners now feel wealthier so they feel more like they can afford another kid. These price effects are stronger for women under the age of 30.
Additionally, they find that these effects of housing costs is greater than that of unemployment rates.
Have housing prices in your area affected your fertility? Or has your desired fertility affected where you want to live?