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Second homes in Italy: every household’s dream or (un)profitable investments?

Marianna Brunetti () and Costanza Torricelli ()

Housing Studies, 2017, vol. 32, issue 2, 168-185

Abstract: The use of a second home may result in different outcomes for households, ranging from financial profit and holiday use to uses that are clearly unprofitable. We contribute to the literature on second homes by exploring the case of second homes that are not let out, representing the least profitable outcome from an economic viewpoint. The empirical investigation relies on the 2002–2012 Bank of Italy Survey on Household Income and Wealth (SHIW), which also provides extensive information on property, including the actual use. Our results highlight: a gender gap, whereby the unprofitable use of second homes tends to be more clearly associated with male decision-makers; a lack of association with the economic characteristics of the household; and a strong association with the specific characteristics of the property, with inherited property more likely to be used unprofitably. In addition to casting doubt on the effectiveness of second homes as an investment vehicle, our results may have important policy or regulatory implications for housing and rental markets.

Date: 2017
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Housing Studies is currently edited by Chris Leishman, Moira Munro, Ray Forrest, Alex Schwartz, Hal Pawson and John Flint

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