What is so beautiful about the own home - a life-style concept of housing

Motives behind the wish of living in a certain way - here, especially in a detached house - explained through a life-style concept

Content Description




Project Objectives

The detached house is a form of living involving a high proportion of economical, ecological and individual resources. Nevertheless, a majority of Austrians wants to live in such a house. This study shows the underlying motives for this desire and the difficulties in initiating a change of people's views in this area. In addition to that, the lifestyle groups that could be receptive to such a change of view- using adequate measures - will be identified. Thus, this study provides the basis for a marketing concept promoting residential areas of higher density in accordance with the program line.

Project Content

The first part will investigate the following questions: Why does living in detached houses have such an importance? Which are the life style groups that people who want to move into such houses can be assigned to? Which life style groups are "indecisive" concerning their choice of form of living (and thus: can be influenced)? What are the latent motives that make them prefer certain forms of living? Which images are tied to the conception of a detached house? How rational is the decision for a certain form of living? The second part of the study aims at putting the desire for a house of one's own, which may appear as a very individual decision, into a wider social context of socio-economic theories and the history of ideas.

Methods and Databases

The results of the study are based on the following elements:

  • Intensive literary research
  • 13 interviews with experts, 8 interviews with residents
  • 494 interviews with residents of various forms of living in different residential areas. Processing with multivariate statistical methods
  • 4 depth interviews with representatives of various life styles


The probability of living in a detached house strongly differs between various lifestyles. For representatives of certain lifestyles, the possession of a house seems almost "obligatory", and consistently, their desire for a house will be barely changeable. For representatives of other lifestyles, the result will be anything but predictable. Urban social climbers and the urban establishment should be targeted first and foremost, since there are no clear predispositions for a certain form of living among these two groups.

If already existing, the desire for a detached house can hardly be contested argumentatively, because on a conscious level, this desire is determined largely by basic ideas that appeal to people's emotions. A house is associated with family, children, one's own childhood and the realization of a lifetime dream. Whatever stands in the way of this dream, will be re-evaluated intra-psychologically (reduction of cognitive dissonance)

The detached house is an archetype firmly rooted in people's heads. Apart from the abovementioned conscious motives, there are also important latent motives for a detached house out in the open: the acquisition of status, the creation of privacy, the desire for something personal, something of one's own or a "personal experience", the urge to "create something" or the fascination by the ownership of property.

Conclusions and Suggestions

The detached house is tied up with multiple meanings and the point must be either to loosen these ties or to shift them towards high density residential areas. On the one hand, conventional political control mechanisms (development funds, guidelines and so forth) should be utilized. However, we also strongly suggest creating positive images for high density residential areas by implementing marketing strategies oriented towards target groups. Detached houses have to do a great deal with people's emotions and therefore, people should be addressed exactly at this emotional level. A strategy designed to persuade by arguments will not succeed in most cases, but will be meaningful only as a backup to the abovementioned measure.

Project Partners

Project management:

Mag. Winfried Moser, Mag. Reiner Rosegger, Dr. Dieter Reicher
SCAN - Agentur für Markt- und Gesellschaftsanalytik, Moser Rosegger KEG


Winfried Moser
SCAN - Moser Rosegger KEG

Mag. Margarethe Havel
Wohnbund Wien

Mag. Monika De Frantz
Derzeit PhD.-Studium zu Stadtkultur am Europäischen Hochschulinstitut Florenz


Rainer Rosegger
SCAN - Agentur für Markt- und Gesellschaftsanalytik, Moser Rosegger KEG
Glacisstraße 25
A 8010 Graz
Tel.: +43 316 323937
E-Mail: die.leitung@scan.ac