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Trunks, Tails, and Elephants: Modernising Housing Policies


  • Duncan Maclennan


Over the last decade, the OECD economies, the affluent Asian economies and the transition states have mostly experienced significant upswings in house prices. Upswings have ended with the emergence of the credit crunch since 2007. Dominant policy concerns related to housing have been affordability, in the upswing, and instability, in the downswing. These policy debates have been disconnected from each other and have been led respectively by social security and finance ministries and have seldom come to grips with how housing systems appear to operate. This paper assesses recent patterns of change, critiques the imprecision of the policy debates that emerged and stresses that the stickiness of the housing system requires fuller consideration in policymaking. Housing policies have their roles to play in reducing affordability difficulties and instabilities. Globalisation has changed housing systems and whilst posing new patterns to address also raise new possibilities for delivering different housing outcomes to support meta-policy goals.

Suggested Citation

  • Duncan Maclennan, 2008. "Trunks, Tails, and Elephants: Modernising Housing Policies," International Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(4), pages 423-440.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:intjhp:v:8:y:2008:i:4:p:423-440
    DOI: 10.1080/14616710802449760

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