Do First-Time Home Buyers Improve Their Neighborhood Quality? Academic Article uri icon


  • This study examines the changes in neighborhood quality in communities where low-income buyers have recently purchased homes. Three questions are addressed: Do lower-income buyers buy in higher quality neighborhoods than the ones in which they rented? Are lower-income buyers locating in higher quality neighborhoods than a comparison group of continuing renters? Are the neighborhoods of new buyers improving or deteriorating relative to those of continuing renters? Results of an analysis of a sample of persons who graduated from home buyer education classes in eight cities indicate that home buyers located in neighborhoods that were similar in quality to those in which they rented. Continuing renters in the sample, however, improved the quality of the neighborhoods between the first and second surveys, while home buyers did not. Finally, while the neighborhoods to which new buyers moved are improving, they are doing so at a slower rate than both the neighborhoods from which they moved and those of the continuing renters. 2006 Urban Affairs Association.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Urban Affairs

author list (cited authors)

  • Van Zandt, S., & Rohe, W. M.

citation count

  • 16

complete list of authors

  • Van Zandt, Shannon||Rohe, William M

publication date

  • November 2006