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Understanding AffordabilityThe Economics of Housing Markets$
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Geoffrey Meen and Christine Whitehead

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781529211863

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529211863.001.0001

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Housing Demand, Financial Markets and Taxation

Housing Demand, Financial Markets and Taxation

Chapter:
(p.107) 7 Housing Demand, Financial Markets and Taxation
Source:
Understanding Affordability
Author(s):

Geoffrey Meen

Christine Whitehead

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781529211863.003.0007

In Chapter 7, fiscal and monetary policies are considered and particular attention is paid to structural changes in mortgage finance markets. From the early 1980s the UK experienced two periods of strong mortgage growth: the first lasted until the recession of the early 1990s and the second started in the mid-1990s and ended with the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). However, a distinguishing feature of the GFC period was the fall in mortgage advances, which has never been fully reversed. Credit tightening causes particular problems for first-time buyers as compared to the majority of current owners; the latter typically have sufficient equity in their existing properties, which they can use to finance further purchases. Therefore, the decline in credit availability has had important distributional effects. Accumulated equity also provides an advantage for existing owners entering the expanded Buy to Let market. Similarly, the stress tests that borrowers now have to undertake fall primarily on aspiring first-time buyers and those with volatile incomes. The chapter also considers non-neutralities in the property tax system which can discriminate against first-time buyers.

Keywords:   Fiscal policy, Monetary policy, Mortgage finance, Global Financial Crisis, First-time buyers, Buy to Let, Property taxes

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