Town Planning Review

Analysing the Belfast housing market: learning lessons from extreme volatility

Town Planning Review (2012), 83, (4), 407–430.

Abstract

Belfast and Northern Ireland enjoyed a long property-led economic boom, in part the result of global economic developments that were compounded by specific local institutional and other drivers. The market grew more quickly and then fell further than in any other UK region. What lessons can be learned from this experience in the Belfast housing system? This article reports evidence from a rigorous local housing systems analysis of the wider Belfast housing market. Developing a better understanding of the factors that left the Belfast housing system so exposed provides policy lessons to help mitigate future volatility in both similar and arguably different settings.

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MUELLBAUER, J. and MURPHY, A. (1997), ‘Booms and busts in UK housing markets’, Economic Journal, 107, 1701-27. ‘Booms and busts in UK housing markets’ Economic Journal 107 1701 27 Google Scholar

NEWHAVEN RESEARCH (2010), Scottish Housing Digest (September), Edinburgh, Chartered Institute of Housing in Scotland. Google Scholar

NIHE (2010), Northern Ireland Housing Market Review and Perspectives 2010-2013, Belfast, NIHE. Google Scholar

NINIS (2010), Northern Ireland Neighbourhood Information System provided by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, available at http://www.ninis.nisra.gov.uk/ Google Scholar

OECD (2008), Local Economic Strategy Series Review of Belfast, United Kingdom, Paris, OECD. Google Scholar

O'SULLIVAN, A. (2003), ‘Economics and housing planning’, in A. O'Sullivan and K. Gibb (eds), Housing Economics and Public Policy, Oxford, Blackwell Science. Housing Economics and Public Policy Google Scholar

O'SULLIVAN, A. and GIBB, K. (2008), The Credit Crunch and the Scottish Housing System, Glasgow, Chartered Institute of Housing. The Credit Crunch and the Scottish Housing System Google Scholar

O'SULLIVAN, A., YOUNG, G., BRITAIN, A., DOWIE, A., GIBB, K., MACLENNAN, D. and MCLAREN, J. (2004), Local Housing Systems Analysis: Good Practice Guide, Edinburgh, Communities Scotland. Local Housing Systems Analysis: Good Practice Guide Google Scholar

PLANNING SERVICE (2010), Northern Ireland Housing Land Availability Summary Report 2010, Belfast, Department of Environment. Google Scholar

SEMPLE, J. (2007), Review into Affordable Housing Final Report, Belfast, Department for Social Development. Review into Affordable Housing Final Report Google Scholar

SHILLER, R. (2008), The Sub-prime Solution, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press. The Sub-prime Solution Google Scholar

SMITH, S. and MUNRO, M. (2008), ‘The micro-structures of housing markets’, Housing Studies, 23, 159-62. ‘The micro-structures of housing markets’ Housing Studies 23 159 62 Google Scholar

WATKINS, C. (2008), ‘Microeconomic perspectives on the structure and operation of local housing markets’, Housing Studies, 23, 163-77. ‘Microeconomic perspectives on the structure and operation of local housing markets’ Housing Studies 23 163 77 Google Scholar

YOUNG, G., O'SULLIVAN, A. and GIBB, K. (2010), Northern Ireland Housing Market Areas, Belfast, NIHE. Northern Ireland Housing Market Areas Google Scholar

YOUNG, G., O'SULLIVAN, A. and GIBB, K. (forthcoming), The Belfast Housing Market Area: A Local Housing System Analysis, Belfast, NIHE. The Belfast Housing Market Area: A Local Housing System Analysis Google Scholar

ADAIR, A., BERRY, J., HARAN, M., LLOYD, G. and MCGREAL, S. (2009), The Global Financial Crisis: Impact on Property Markets in the UK and Ireland, Ulster, University of Ulster Real Estate Initiative. The Global Financial Crisis: Impact on Property Markets in the UK and Ireland Google Scholar

BALL, M. (2010), ‘Critical commentary: cities and housing markets: changes and continuities in the aftermath of the 2007-8 world financial crisis’, Urban Studies, 47, 931-44. ‘Critical commentary: cities and housing markets: changes and continuities in the aftermath of the 2007-8 world financial crisis’ Urban Studies 47 931 44 Google Scholar

BESLEY, T. and MUELLER, H. (2009), Estimating the Peace Dividend: The Impact of Violence on House Prices in Northern Ireland (Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers, EOPP 11), London, Suntory Centre, London School of Economics and Political Science. Estimating the Peace Dividend: The Impact of Violence on House Prices in Northern Ireland (Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers, EOPP 11) Google Scholar

BEST, R. (Chair) (2010), Report of the Independent Commission on the Future of Housing in Northern Ireland, Belfast, Chartered Institute of Housing. Report of the Independent Commission on the Future of Housing in Northern Ireland Google Scholar

BLAKE, N. and MUELLBAUER, J. (2009), Imbalances in EU Housing Markets, Oxford, Oxford Economics, Economic Outlook. Imbalances in EU Housing Markets Google Scholar

CASE, K., QUIGLEY, J. and SHILLER, R. (2005), ‘Comparing wealth effects: the stock market versus the housing market’, Advances in Macroeconomics, 5, 1-32. ‘Comparing wealth effects: the stock market versus the housing market’ Advances in Macroeconomics 5 1 32 Google Scholar

CHMA (CENTRE FOR HOUSING MARKET ANALYSIS) (2008), Housing Need and Demand Assessment Guidance, Edinburgh, Scottish Government. Google Scholar

DCLG (DEPARTMENT FOR COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT) (2007), Strategic Housing Market Assessments: Practice Guidance, London, DCLG. Google Scholar

FERRARI, E. and RAE, A. (2011), Local Housing Market Volatility, York, Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Local Housing Market Volatility Google Scholar

GIBB, K., LIVINGSTON, M., WILLIAMS, V., BERRY, J., BROWN, L. and MCGREAL, S. (2007), The Northern Ireland Housing Market: Drivers and Policies, Belfast, NIOHE. The Northern Ireland Housing Market: Drivers and Policies Google Scholar

GOODHART, C. and HOFMANN, B. (2008), ‘House prices, money, credit, and the macroeconomy’, Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 24, 180-205. ‘House prices, money, credit, and the macroeconomy’ Oxford Review of Economic Policy 24 180 205 Google Scholar

HM TREASURY (2010), Budget 2010 (HC61), London, HM Treasury. Budget 2010 (HC61) Google Scholar

IMMERGLUCK, D. (2009), Foreclosed: High-risk Lending, Deregulation and the Undermining of America's Mortgage Market, Ithaca, NY, Cornell University Press. Foreclosed: High-risk Lending, Deregulation and the Undermining of America's Mortgage Market Google Scholar

JONES, C. (2002), ‘The definition of housing market areas and strategic planning’, Urban Studies, 39, 549-64. ‘The definition of housing market areas and strategic planning’ Urban Studies 39 549 64 Google Scholar

JONES, C., LEISHMAN, C and WATKINS, C. (2005), ‘Housing market processes, urban housing submarkets and planning policy’, Town Planning Review, 76, 875-94. ‘Housing market processes, urban housing submarkets and planning policy’ Town Planning Review 76 875 94 Google Scholar

MACLENNAN, D. and GIBB, K. (eds) (1993), Housing Finance and Subsidies in Britain, Aldershot, Avebury. Housing Finance and Subsidies in Britain Google Scholar

MEEN, G. (2008), ‘Ten new propositions in UK housing macroeconomics: an overview of the first years of the century’, Urban Studies, 45, 2759-81. ‘Ten new propositions in UK housing macroeconomics: an overview of the first years of the century’ Urban Studies 45 2759 81 Google Scholar

MEEN, G. (forthcoming), ‘Housing and the economy’, in W. Clark, D. Clapham and K. Gibb (eds), Handbook of Housing Studies, London, Sage. Handbook of Housing Studies Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

MUELLBAUER, J. and MURPHY, A. (1997), ‘Booms and busts in UK housing markets’, Economic Journal, 107, 1701-27. ‘Booms and busts in UK housing markets’ Economic Journal 107 1701 27 Google Scholar

NEWHAVEN RESEARCH (2010), Scottish Housing Digest (September), Edinburgh, Chartered Institute of Housing in Scotland. Google Scholar

NIHE (2010), Northern Ireland Housing Market Review and Perspectives 2010-2013, Belfast, NIHE. Google Scholar

NINIS (2010), Northern Ireland Neighbourhood Information System provided by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, available at http://www.ninis.nisra.gov.uk/ Google Scholar

OECD (2008), Local Economic Strategy Series Review of Belfast, United Kingdom, Paris, OECD. Google Scholar

O'SULLIVAN, A. (2003), ‘Economics and housing planning’, in A. O'Sullivan and K. Gibb (eds), Housing Economics and Public Policy, Oxford, Blackwell Science. Housing Economics and Public Policy Google Scholar

O'SULLIVAN, A. and GIBB, K. (2008), The Credit Crunch and the Scottish Housing System, Glasgow, Chartered Institute of Housing. The Credit Crunch and the Scottish Housing System Google Scholar

O'SULLIVAN, A., YOUNG, G., BRITAIN, A., DOWIE, A., GIBB, K., MACLENNAN, D. and MCLAREN, J. (2004), Local Housing Systems Analysis: Good Practice Guide, Edinburgh, Communities Scotland. Local Housing Systems Analysis: Good Practice Guide Google Scholar

PLANNING SERVICE (2010), Northern Ireland Housing Land Availability Summary Report 2010, Belfast, Department of Environment. Google Scholar

SEMPLE, J. (2007), Review into Affordable Housing Final Report, Belfast, Department for Social Development. Review into Affordable Housing Final Report Google Scholar

SHILLER, R. (2008), The Sub-prime Solution, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press. The Sub-prime Solution Google Scholar

SMITH, S. and MUNRO, M. (2008), ‘The micro-structures of housing markets’, Housing Studies, 23, 159-62. ‘The micro-structures of housing markets’ Housing Studies 23 159 62 Google Scholar

WATKINS, C. (2008), ‘Microeconomic perspectives on the structure and operation of local housing markets’, Housing Studies, 23, 163-77. ‘Microeconomic perspectives on the structure and operation of local housing markets’ Housing Studies 23 163 77 Google Scholar

YOUNG, G., O'SULLIVAN, A. and GIBB, K. (2010), Northern Ireland Housing Market Areas, Belfast, NIHE. Northern Ireland Housing Market Areas Google Scholar

YOUNG, G., O'SULLIVAN, A. and GIBB, K. (forthcoming), The Belfast Housing Market Area: A Local Housing System Analysis, Belfast, NIHE. The Belfast Housing Market Area: A Local Housing System Analysis Google Scholar

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Details

Author details

Gibb, Kenneth

O'Sullivan, Tony

Young, Gillian

Gibb, Kenneth

O'Sullivan, Tony

Young, Gillian