The purpose of this research is to examine the nature of housing market affordability. Although the problem of housing affordability has been widely discussed, the theoretical underpinnings of the concept have received less attention. It has become increasingly evident that more holistic insights and integrated approaches are needed to provide a platform to define affordability to influence research and policy discourse.
Given the increasing importance of affordability within housing policy reform, this paper seeks to “unearth” the most important prognosticators of affordability. The paper uses principal component analysis to determine how affordability, as a key policy tool, should be analysed. In addition, co integration techniques, Granger causality and impulse response analysis are applied to test the movement and shocks of the key affordability indicators and the two common affordability metrics.
The principal conclusions stemming from this paper demonstrate that affordability is a multifaceted policy concept influenced by financial access (purchase) costs and the repayment costs of housing services which are correlated and interchangeable but significantly were found not to be co integrated.
Understanding the nature of housing market affordability remains problem for policy-makers. This paper adds to the debate and empirical understanding of the cyclic nature of affordability and how it is defined. It shows that there are intricate causal short-term relationships between the key affordability indicators. This is problematic for contemporary housing policy and the key directions in which policy must turn.
McCord, M., Davis, P., Haran, M. and McCord, J. (2016), "Analysing housing market affordability in Northern Ireland: towards a better understanding?", International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, Vol. 9 No. 4, pp. 554-579. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHMA-09-2015-0054Download as .RIS
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