REMF53-Housing Markets and Policy

Module Provider: Real Estate and Planning
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring 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 analysethe 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 accross the world, and applies economic theory that has international relevance.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

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

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 15
Seminars 20
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 60
    Wider reading (directed) 105
Total hours by term 0 200 0
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 of one assignment. This will be a?5,000 word?essay addressing one of five pre-set questions. This will be submitted in the first week of the summer term.

Formative assessment methods:

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

Penalties for late submission:

The below information applies to students on taught programmes except those on Postgraduate Flexible programmes. Penalties for late submission, and the associated procedures, which apply to Postgraduate Flexible programmes are specified in the policy “Penalties for late submission for Postgraduate Flexible programmes”, which can be found here:
The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

The pass mark for the module 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):

Last updated: 22 September 2022


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