'To buy or not to buy a home in a rural risk area' by mid-to-later life home purchasers

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Few studies on residential mobility of ageing adults to rural areas have investigated which of them buy a home in a rural risk area. This paper examines which socio-demographic characteristics, housing attributes and earthquake circumstances influence the actual choice of mid-to-later life adults to purchase a house in a rural risk area. The study focuses on housing transactions in the Dutch Groningen rural earthquake region, compared to transactions in the Groningen rural non-earthquake area from 2012 to 2019 (N = 6,082). Buying a house in the Groningen risk area might be challenging, as the earthquakes have had a significant impact on the regional housing market, the building structure of the houses and the wellbeing of the residents. Earlier research nonetheless suggests that, despite the risks, homebuyers still purchase houses in the Groningen earthquake area. The developed model predicts which mid-to-later life homebuyers of 50 years and older will purchase a dwelling in the Groningen earthquake region. Logistic regression analyses show that characteristics of the mid-to-later life homebuyer and earthquake circumstances are decisive aspects in respect of this choice. Being a single mid-to-later life homebuyer, with a previous residence in the Groningen earthquake region or being born in this region, enlarges the probability of purchasing a home in the earthquake region. Another significant predictor of a home purchase in the earthquake region appears to be a higher earthquake intensity of the homebuyer’s previous residence. These conclusions indicate the existence of a local housing market in rural risk areas.
Translated title of the contribution'Wel of niet kopen van een woning in ruraal risicogebied door 50-plus woningkopers
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Housing and the Built Environment
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2023


  • kopers
  • aardbevingsgebied
  • woningen
  • groningen (provincie)


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