Research interests in residential satisfaction have persisted for decades, but there are still knowledge gaps that need to be addressed. Numerous studies have attempted to theorize residential satisfaction and identify the factors that contribute to it. Residential satisfaction is often understood as being related to the difference between one's current living conditions and a reference point, which can be either one's own aspirations or the living conditions of a peer group. This study aims to investigate and compare two potential gaps that may explain residential satisfaction: the gap between what individuals currently have and what they prefer to have (referred to as the "have-want" gap), and the gap between what individuals currently have and what they used to have (referred to as the "have-had" gap). The empirical study was conducted in Wuhan, China, and data was collected from a sample of 813 respondents, the majority of whom were migrant workers, including both skilled and unskilled laborers from various neighborhoods of the city, in July 2021. Through multivariate modeling of the data, it was found that the "have-want" gap had a greater explanatory power for residential satisfaction compared to the "have-had" gap. Specifically, dimensions such as living space, housing decoration, neighborhood aesthetics, and a noise-free neighborhood were found to significantly contribute to residential satisfaction when considering the "have-want" gap. These findings suggest that addressing and managing people's aspirations for housing is crucial for promoting residential satisfaction.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Urban Studies
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
- Have-had discrepancy
- Have-want discrepancy
- Residential satisfaction