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Urban Housing Markets

Urban Housing Markets: Recent Directions in Research and Policy

Larry S. Bourne
John R. Hitchcock
With the assistance of Judith M. Kjellberg
Series: Heritage
Copyright Date: 1978
Pages: 334
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/j.ctt15jjdr4
  • Book Info
    Urban Housing Markets
    Book Description:

    This volume is both a record of the Conference on Urban Housing Markets sponsored by the Centre for Urban and Community Studies in October 1977 and a review of important recent research on urban housing markets and related public policy issues.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-3231-8
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-[viii])
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)

    Housing remains a persistent problem for all modern societies. Even in those societies which now seem to have solved the problem of an absolute housing shortage, there appears to be literally no end to the difficulties of rising housing costs, as well as of unequal allocation of new housing and conservation of the old. Now, in Canada at least, a central issue is affordability, that is the ability of society and consumers to pay for the amount and kind of housing which they can or would like to consume. In good times as well as bad, housing persists as an...

  4. I CONCEPTS AND CONTEXT

    • 1.1 HOUSING RESEARCH AND POLICY DEVELOPMENT: THEMES FROM THE CONFERENCE
      (pp. 9-20)
      Larry S. Bourne and John R. Hitchcock

      The debate on urban housing issues which took place at the Conference reflects a much wider, though not clearly articulated, debate in our society concerning the goals of housing policy. An integral part of this debate is the potential contribution of housing research to the development of housing policy. In both cases there are almost as many perspectives on the issues as there are commentators.

      In this introductory paper we do not undertake to catalogue these points of view in detail. Rather, our purpose is to provide a brief overview of the themes which emerged from the conference and thus,...

  5. II OVERVIEW OF HOUSING MARKET RESEARCH

    • 2.1 HOUSING MARKETS AND HOUSING DEMAND: ANALYTIC APPROACHES
      (pp. 23-44)
      John M. Quigley

      During the past decade, social scientists have devoted increasing attention to describing, understanding and to modelling the process by which households choose among alternative dwelling units in an urban area. In part, the increasing attention to this behavioural question has arisen from one or another of the “crises” of urban policy of the painful period beginning in the mid-1960s. It became increasingly clear that neither policy makers nor urban scholars possessed the theoretical knowledge or the forecasting ability to devise efficient programs for improving urban life in general, much less to “insure a decent home and a suitable living environment”...

    • 2.2 RESPONSES
      (pp. 45-54)
      William G. Grigsby

      My comments are triggered by, but not a critique of, John Quigley’s paper. The paper has served to clarify in my mind a situation which has been bothering me for some time. It is what might be described as the “Two Separate Worlds of Housing Analysis”. These two separate worlds consist of two different groups of researchers, each pursuing similar topics in housing in quite different ways and not really bothering to communicate with each other or, in some cases, even to acknowledge the existence of the other world. Although it is an oversimplification to segment the domain of housing...

  6. III DEMAND AND INCOME ANALYSIS

    • 3.1 SOME EVIDENCE ON THE RECENT BOOM IN LAND AND HOUSING PRICES
      (pp. 57-85)
      David T. Scheffman

      At the risk of belabouring points which may be obvious to Conference participants, in this paper I am going to discuss the recent boom in urban land and housing prices in Canada, and attempt to shed some light on the relative importance of its various causal factors. Although the majority of academic urban economists are apparently in agreement that the boom was the result of a large increase in the demand for housing, brought about principally by inflation, demographic factors, increasing income, and institutional changes in the mortgage market and tax policies, this agreement is evidently not shared by the...

    • 3.2 HOUSING DEMAND AND HOUSEHOLD WEALTH: HOME OWNERS
      (pp. 86-106)
      John Bossons

      Most work done on household demand for housing implicitly is based on a model in which the demand for housing is assumed to be purely for current consumption purposes, with the household budget constraint being defined as some variant of current income (cf. de Leeuw, 1971). In most applications, “current income” is defined as what a household may reasonably expect to continue to be able to earn (often called “permanent income” to differentiate it from the actual income received by the household in a particular period), reflecting the fact that households will tend to attempt to maintain their consumption at...

  7. IV SUPPLY AND PRICE CONSIDERATIONS

    • 4.1 THE PRICE ELASTICITY OF SUPPLY OF HOUSING SERVICES
      (pp. 109-138)
      Larry Ozanne and Raymond J. Struyk

      This paper reports on an empirical investigation of the economic behaviour of the suppliers of housing services over time. Specifically, a long-run (ten-year) price elasticity of housing services from the existing stock is estimated separately for owner-occupied and rental dwellings in the Boston metropolitan area for the 1960-70 decade. Only suppliers utilizing dwellings which were in the stock in 1960 are included; hence, it is a study of changes in the flow of services from the existing stock.

      The focus on services sets this work apart from most past econometric analyses of housing supply, which have studied the supply of...

    • 4.2 THEORETICAL APPROACHES TO FILTERING IN THE URBAN HOUSING MARKET
      (pp. 139-163)
      Gordon W. Davies

      There are a variety of definitions of filtering in the urban housing market, some chosen for different empirical purposes. Here we propose a more general definition, as follows:

      Filtering in the housing market is the process in which the real housing consumption of families or households changes over time, whether by the depreciation or renovation of the same dwelling unit or the choice of a different dwelling unit (which may be newly constructed or have experienced depreciation, renovation, or conversion from a different type). The process may involve changes in real incomes and in the relative price of housing services....

    • 4.3 INFLATION AND URBAN HOME OWNERSHIP
      (pp. 164-178)
      Stuart M. McFadyen and Robert J. Hobart

      During the rapid inflation of the early 1970s, housing prices in Canada rose much more rapidly than the general price level. Statistics Canada data on housing prices in six Canadian cities showed increases ranging from 68 per cent in the case of Calgary to 83 per cent in the case of Montreal for the period 1971–74 (Statistics Canada, 1974: 7). Over the same period the consumer price index only rose 25 per cent.

      These rapid increases in the price of houses resulted from significant increases in housing demand during a period of constrained supply. Supply constraints are not examined...

  8. V STUDIES OF LOCAL MARKETS AND INFORMATION SYSTEMS

    • 5.1 DEVELOPER BEHAVIOUR AND URBAN GROWTH: ANALYSIS AND SYNTHESIS
      (pp. 181-227)
      Michael A. Goldberg

      As more rigorous and sophisticated tools of analysis have become available to professionals in the social sciences we have greatly expanded our knowledge about our social systems on a macroscale as well as our knowledge of the microcomponents of these systems.¹ Unfortunately, until recently little attention has been paid to the compatibility of these micro-and macroanalyses. The problem is neither new nor trivial. In economics the aggregation problem is one of long duration and of some stature.² It explicitly acknowledges the difficulties faced in attempting to generalize from specifics.

      With the advent of the most recent generation of computing machinery,...

    • 5.2 The Role of Urban Data Systems in the Analysis of Housing Issues
      (pp. 228-258)
      Eric G. Moore and Stewart J. Clatworthy

      We begin with the contention that many housing programs in urban areas have weak analytic foundations. This is meant in the sense that the interactions between a given program and the broad spectrum of social, economic and demographic processes in the city are poorly understood. For example, we still do not have a sufficient grasp of the complexities of real market structures to be able to say with any degree of confidence what the impacts of such programs as rent control, income subsidy or public ownership of land will be in a particular city. Under these circumstances it is difficult...

  9. VI SOCIAL POLICY CONSIDERATIONS

    • 6.1 THE IMPACT OF RECENT TRENDS IN SOCIAL HOUSING POLICIES
      (pp. 261-278)
      Albert Rose

      All housing policy is social policy in the sense that it is designed to help people meet a basic human need. Moreover, housing policy is societal in nature since the decisions of major private entrepreneurs, as well as significant agencies of the several levels of government in a federal state, affect the entire society.

      In Canada such enunciation of policy and consequent legislation for nearly fifty years have had both economic and social objectives. At one time, the economic objective may have been predominant; at other times, more attention was directed towards social objectives. In most years the capital investment...

    • 6.2 DISTRIBUTIONAL AND SOCIAL IMPACTS OF CANADIAN NATIONAL HOUSING POLICY: LEAVING IT TO THE MARKET
      (pp. 279-302)
      Jeffrey Patterson

      In the Canadian context a discussion of the social and distributional impacts of housing policy cannot possibly take place without reference to housing markets and the operation of housing markets. A non-market sector is practically non-existent. Less than 3 per cent of the Canadian housing stock is owned by government or other agents outside the private market. Moreover, federal and provincial governments in Canada have in recent years begun relying on incentives to the private market as the primary vehicle for delivery of housing subsidies.

      The Canadian state has considerable impact, both direct and indirect, on the private housing market....

  10. 7 PERSPECTIVES ON THE HOUSING DEBATE: PLENARY DISCUSSION
    (pp. 305-326)

    The following is an edited transcript of the final session of the conference. This session was originally scheduled as a discussion among six panelists, but the accumulation of unanswered questions during the earlier part of the conference generated pressures for a more open and unstructured debate from the floor. The resulting record is of interest both for the substantive information it provides and for the sequence and juxtaposition of ideas. Although the tapes of this session were originally intended only for our own internal reference, we have been persuaded that a vital element of the debate would be missing if...

  11. GLOSSARY OF ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. 326-326)
  12. BIOGRAPHIES OF AUTHORS
    (pp. 327-330)
  13. CONFERENCE PARTICIPANTS
    (pp. 331-334)