The global financial crisis: challenges for housing research and policies

Duncan Maclennan*, Anthony O'Sullivan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores the implications of observed national housing sector experiences across the advanced economies before, through and out of the 'Great Financial Crash' (GFC) of 2008. The evidence suggests that over-aggregative explanation of these experiences and their broader economic consequences is somewhat misleading; empirical and theoretical explanations to date have largely failed to recognise that housing sectors can play transformative rather than just passive roles in shaping national economic outcomes. In practice, housing volatility, and the implications of this volatility for macroeconomic stability and growth, reflects specific national financial, spatial and policy structures, housing system institutional structures and participant behaviour patterns. In spite of this, the housing policy paradigms that dominated in the decades prior to the GFC remain largely in place, and national housing policy frameworks continue to give insufficient attention to housing system stability and efficiency concerns. Housing research and housing policies need to be reoriented to better address the processes that contributed to the GFC and that more generally continue to shape national economic cycles and growth paths.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-384
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Housing and the Built Environment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011


  • Cycles
  • Policies
  • Variability
  • Housing
  • Behaviours
  • Regions
  • Institutions


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