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Browsing by Author "Backman, Katri Elina"

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  • Backman, Katri Elina (2015)
    The subject of this Master's thesis is the housing preferences of one-person households in Helsinki. The purpose of this study is to find out what kind of housing those who live alone prefer, and whether their preferences differ from the preferences of the rest of the population in Helsinki. The housing preferences are examined through both revealed preferences and stated preferences. Statistics about the shares of one person households in districts of Helsinki as well as the current types of housing and tenancy are examined to study the revealed preferences. Preferred housing types and neighborhood types are analyzed in order to study the stated preferences. The primary data in this study is a survey dataset about housing and well-being, collected as a part of a research program in Helsinki metropolitan area in 2012. Statistical data of the household types and dwelling sizes in Helsinki by Statistics Finland is another dataset used in this study. The study is a part of the quantitative research tradition, and the main research methods are descriptive data analysis, crosstabulation and comparison of means. Geographical information methods have been used to conduct spatial analysis with the data, and also to visualize it. The most important findings of this study are twofold. First of all, they confirm the concept of more urban housing preferences of the solo-dwellers compared to the rest of the population. Those who live alone not only tend to exhibit more urban housing patterns, but also seem to prefer certain characteristics of urban living, for example living in central urban areas and apartment blocks, more distinctively than those living in other household types. Secondly, this study also confirms that solo- dwellers is a very diverse group of people whose housing preferences vary due to socioeconomic factors, especially age. The life stages and lifestyles of the solo-dwellers differ from each other, which has an impact on the housing choice and housing preferences. From the solo-dweller's point of view the development of the housing prices in Helsinki, which have gone up faster than the income levels, raises concerns. Many of those who live alone are economically worse off than those who live in two-earner-households. This reduces the number of choice the solo-dwellers have when making housing decisions. However, the findings of this study point out that there is a group of solo-dwellers in Helsinki city center who are quite affluent and can afford to fulfil their urban preferences. This study can not provide answers as to why those living alone actually prefer urban housing more than the rest of the population. In the future it would be interesting to find out which characteristics and functionalities of urban space are attractive to solo dwellers, and why.