REMB35-Residential Real Estate and Policy

Module Provider: Real Estate and Planning
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2022/3

Module Convenor: Dr Chris Foye

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module will provide students with an awareness of the economic principles that underpin residential property markets and relevant government policies. Students will be able to assess the impact of different policy interventions in the housing market. 


Housing has always been a fundamental basis for human life. Recently though, it has also grown to become the world’s largest asset class, powered by three decades of rapid global house price inflation. What happens in housing markets therefore affects almost everything; from financial market stability, to wealth inequalities; from national productivity, to rates of child birth.  

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of why global, national and local housing markets operate as they do, and the implications this has for economies and societies more generally.  It also aims to provide students with an understanding of how different types of policy – town planning, fiscal, monetary, etc. – can shape housing markets. 

The module explores what has happened to global housing markets over the last century, examining the key supply and demand-side determinants of house prices, rents and affordability. It explores the role of mortgage finance, the relationship between housing markets and the macro-economy, and the recent growth of institutional investment in housing as an asset class. It highlights the distinct features of housing and land markets which make them susceptible to market failure, and discusses the various ways in which the state can intervene to potentially address these market failures.  

Assessable learning outcomes:

The module will provide students with an awareness of the economic principles that underpin residential property markets and an ability to assess the impact of different policy interventions. 

Upon?completion of the?module,?students?should?be able to:? 

  • Apply economic and financial theory to housing market analysis; 

  • Discuss the distinct features of land and housing markets, and analyse the implications for policy; 

  • Discuss the supply-side and demand-side drivers of housing markets, including the role of mortgage finance, investors, housebuilders and the planning system; 

  • Analyse the choice of tenure by households and the functioning of rental and ownership markets; 

  • Discuss the relationship between housing markets and the broader political-economic context at a local, regional, national and international scale. 

Additional outcomes:

By the end of the module, it is expected that the student will also be able?to:? 

  • undertake an evidence-based approach for analysing public policy issues;? 

  • use different economic theories (behavioural economics, classical economics and neoclassical economics) to analyse housing and land markets 

  • demonstrate research and learning skills e.g. literature search and review, case study exercises, familiarity with web-based research material and sources.? 

The module will aid students in developing a thorough understanding of the primary factors influencing the behaviour of housing markets and their broader economic and social importance. The module will also enhance students’ quantitative and qualitative analytical skills. 

Outline content:

  • Key historical trends in global housing and land markets 

  • Special characteristics of housing and land markets  

  • Supply and demand-side determinants of house prices and rents 

  • Analysing local and regional housing markets 

  • Housing finance and the growing role of mortgage markets 

  • Relationship between housing markets and the macro-economy 

  • Housing tenure choices; the decline of home-ownership; and the rise of private renting 

  • Institutional investment in residential real estate as an asset class 

  • Limits to housing supply, including the role of landowners, the housebuilding industry, planning systems and politics 

  • State interventions in the housing market: rent control, low-income housing and home-ownership subsidies 

  • Comparing international housing markets and housing systems 

Global context:

Whilst the module focuses on the UK more than any other country, it draws on evidence from across the world, and applies economic theory that has international relevance. 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The?module comprises a combination of lectures, and interactive in-person seminars. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 10
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 50
    Wider reading (directed) 100
    Essay preparation 20
Total hours by term 0 0 200
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

The module assessment will comprise one assignment. This will be a?5,000 word?essay addressing one of five pre-set questions. 

Assignment Submission Deadline: Week 44

Formative assessment methods:

Before the end of the teaching week, students will be invited to submit a one-page strategy, summarising how they plan to address the essay question. They will receive short written feedback on this.

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Assessment requirements for a pass:
The pass-mark for this modules is 50%.

Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessment will be by the same method as for the module’s original assessment requirements, subject to variation by the Examination Board where appropriate. 

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

No additional costs

Last updated: 22 September 2022


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