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How global is the affordable housing crisis?

Tom Coupe (Department of Economics and Finance, College of Business and Law, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand)

International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis

ISSN: 1753-8270

Article publication date: 29 July 2020

Issue publication date: 23 June 2021




This paper aims to determine to what extent the housing affordability crisis is a “global” crisis and to what extent there is a variation across countries and over time, in who is concerned about housing affordability.


The author analyses data from about 500,000 respondents from over 140 countries and uses both descriptive statistics as well as regression analysis (using a random effects within between model [Bell et al., 2019]).


The findings show that concerns about housing affordability are widespread both within and across countries but the extent of these concerns depends greatly on the country, the subgroup and the indicator analysed. Moreover, in many countries, more people worry about other aspects of life than about housing affordability.

Research limitations/implications

The global diversity in the housing affordability crisis suggests that one should be cautious when extrapolating research findings for a given country to other countries or when proposing housing policy transfer across countries.

Practical implications

The specific nature of the housing affordability crisis varies substantially across countries. Policymakers thus should be aware that there is no guarantee that a housing affordability policy that was effective in one country will also be effective in another country.


This paper is original in its use of the Gallup World poll, a unique survey, which is done world-wide and hence is ideally suited for the purpose of this paper, providing a much more detailed picture of the global housing crisis than so far available in the literature.



Coupe, T. (2021), "How global is the affordable housing crisis?", International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 429-445.



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