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The extent of homeownership among immigrants may be seen as an indicator of integration and as a determinant of ethnic residential segregation. Studies have shown differences in the determinants of homeownership between immigrants and natives, indicating that variation in homeownership is not only a function of differences in economic resources. These studies have largely focused on Anglo‐American contexts, using mostly cross‐sectional data. We apply survival analysis methods to analyse the determinants of entry to homeownership in the capital regions of three Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland and Sweden – utilizing longitudinal individual‐level register‐based datasets. We find that differences in entry to homeownership between natives and different immigrant groups cannot be explained by differences in socio‐economic background factors. We also find differences in the effects of these factors. Effects of income are generally weaker among non‐Western immigrants and immigrants are less responsive to changes in household composition. The share of non‐Western immigrants in the neighbourhood is only weakly related to entry to homeownership, while immigrants and natives living in public rental housing tend to be slightly less inclined to move to homeownership. Weaker income effects among immigrants, weak effects of ethnic segregation and the importance of the public rental sector differentiate our results from earlier findings. Weaker income effects may indicate that uncertainty about the future also affects middle‐income immigrants. Differences between the three contexts in housing markets and policies do not seem to matter much, although the results indicate that difficult access to the private rental sector may push immigrants to homeownership.
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Keywords: Nordic countries; assimilation; homeownership; housing policy; immigrants; longitudinal data

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2015

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