The Opportunities and Limits of Housing Markets


  • 11/03/2009
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The Institute of Economic Affairs and the

Centre for Comparative Housing Research

invite you to attend a seminar:

"The Opportunities and Limits of Housing Markets"

Venue: IEA, 2 Lord North Street, SW1

Time: 1.00pm-5.00pm. Lunch provided.


Dr Peter King, De Montfort University

Professor Ken Gibb, Glasgow University

Dr Tim Leunig, LSE

Attendance is free, but places are limited.

Do we really understand housing markets and the role of government? In particular, do housing markets work and if not, what is the proper role for government? This seminar, organised by De Montfort University’s Centre for Comparative Housing Research and kindly hosted by the Institute of Economic Affairs, will explore these issues and seek some answers.

The current financial crisis has called into question the role of housing markets. The collapse of the sub-prime housing market in the USA is frequently seen as the spark that set off the crisis and the subsequent collapse in the world financial system in 2007/08. But should we see markets as the problem? In particular, what part has

Government regulation played in creating the conditions for instability in housing markets? Should one of the lessons be that the Government should do less to promote ownership and more to ensure that the conditions exist for a long-term rental market to develop more fully?

The three distinguished speakers will explore the role of housing markets and how far Government can and should intervene to regulate and control markets. They will explore the way in which markets work and whether there are any limits to what they can and should achieve.

The seminar is linked with the publication by Routledge of the second edition of Peter King’s book Understanding Housing Finance. This book explores the roles of both housing markets and Government, trying to understand how they interact. In particular the book looks at how Government seeks to influence markets and uses so called ‘market disciplines’ to control public provision. Copies of the book will be available on the day, as will copies of Peter King's IEA publication, 'Choice and the End of Social Housing' and the special edition of Economic Affairs on housing for the poor.

RSVP acceptances to:

Ros Lishman at De Montfort University: