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The impact of housing prices on residents’ health: A systematic review


Ashmita Grewal, Kirk J. Hepburn, Scott A. Lear, Marina Adshade, Kiffer G. Card


Rising housing prices are becoming a top public health priority and are an emerging concern for policy makers and community leaders. This report reviews and synthesizes evidence examining the association between changes in housing price and health outcomes.

Among 23 eligible studies, we found that changes in housing prices were heterogeneously associated with physical and mental health outcomes, with multiple mechanisms contributing to both positive and negative health outcomes. Income-level and home-ownership status were identified as key moderators, with lower-income individuals and renters experience negative health consequences from rising housing prices. This may have resulted from increased stress and financial strain among these groups. Meanwhile, the economic benefits of rising housing prices were seen to support health for higher-income individuals and homeowners – potentially due to increased wealth or perception of wealth.

Based on the associations identified in this review, it appears that potential gains to health associated with rising housing prices are inequitably distributed. Housing policies should consider the health inequities born by renters and low-income individuals. Further research should explore mechanisms and interventions to reduce uneven economic impacts on health.

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