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The Blackwell Companion to the Economics of Housing: The Housing Wealth of Nations

ISBN: 978-1-4443-1798-5
648 pages
January 2010, Wiley-Blackwell
The Blackwell Companion to the Economics of Housing: The Housing Wealth of Nations (1444317989) cover image


The Blackwell Companion to the Economics of Housing will help students and professionals alike to explore key elements of the housing economy: home prices, housing wealth, mortgage debt, and financial risk.
  • Features 24 original essays, including an editorial introduction and three section overviews
  • Includes 39 world-class authors from a mix of educational and financial organizations in the UK, Europe, Australia, and North America
  • Broadly-based, scholarly, and accessible, serving students and professionals who wish to understand how today’s housing economy works
  • Profiles the role and relevance of housing wealth; the mismanagement of mortgage debt; and the pitfalls and potential of hedging housing risk
  • Key topics include: the housing price bubble and crash; the subprime mortgage crisis in the US and its aftermath; the links between housing wealth, the macroeconomy, and the welfare of home-occupiers; the mitigation of credit and housing investment risks
  • Specific case studies help to illustrate concepts, along with new data sets and analyses to illustrate empirical points
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction (Susan J. Smith, Beverley A. Searle, and Gareth D. Powells).

Part One: Banking on Housing.

Introduction (Editors).

Chapter 2: Housing and Mortgage markets: An OECD perspective (Nathalie Girouard).

Chapter 3: Is Housing Wealth an ‘ATM’?: International Trends (Vladimir Kluyev and Paul Mills).

Chapter 4: Housing Wealth Effects and Course of the US Economy:  Theory, Evidence, and Policy Implications (Eric S. Belsky).

Chapter 5: The rise in house prices and household debt in the United Kingdom: potential causes and implications (Matt Waldron and Fabrizio Zampolli).

Chapter 6: Housing Wealth and Mortgage Debt in Australia (Mike Berry).

Chapter 7: A Survey of Housing Equity Withdrawal and Injection in Australia (Carl Schwartz, Tim Hampton, Christine Lewis and David Norman).

Chapter 8: What do we know about equity withdrawal by households in New Zealand? (Mark Smith).

Chapter 9: What happened to the housing system? (Duncan Maclennan).

Part Two: Housing Wealth as a Financial Buffer.

Introduction (Editors).

Chapter 10: Trading on housing wealth: political risk in an ageing society (Mike Berry and Tony Dalton).

Chapter 11: Housing Equity Withdrawal and Retirement: Evidence from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey (HILDA) (Gavin Wood and Christian A. Nygaard).

Chapter 12: Housing Markets, Wealth and ‘Self-Insurance’ in Spain (Joan Costa-Font, Joan Gill and Oscar Mascarilla).

Chapter 13: Housing wealth: a safety net of last resort? Findings from a European study (Deborah Quilgars and Anwen Jones).

Chapter 14: 'Pots of gold': Housing wealth and economic wellbeing in Australia (Val Colic-Peisker, Guy Johnson and Susan J. Smith).

Chapter 15: Housing Wealth as Insurance:  Insights from the UK (Beverley A Searle and Susan J Smith).

Chapter 16: Housing to manage debt and family care in the USA (Helen Jarvis).

Chapter 17: The Subprime State of Race (Elvin K. Wyly).

Chapter 18: The Housing Finance Revolution (Richard Green and Susan Wachter).

Part Three: Mitigating Housing Risk.

Introduction (Editors).

Chapter 19: How Housing Busts End: House Prices, User Cost and Rigidities During Down Cycles (Karl E. Case and John M. Quigley).

Chapter 20: Is there a Role for Shared Equity Products in Twenty-First Century Housing? Experience in Australia and the UK (Christine Whitehead, and Judith Yates).

Chapter 21: Trading on house price risk:  Index derivatives and home equity insurance (Peter Englund).

Chapter 22: Hedging Housing Risk: A Financial Markets Perspective (Jonathan Reiss, John Blank, Peter Sceats, John Edwards with Susan J Smith).

Creating housing futures: a view from the market (Jonathan Reiss).

Residential property derivatives: exchange-traded futures and options (John Blank).

Residential Property Derivatives: The role and relevance of over-the-counter trading (Peter Sceats).

An interim Solution (John Edwards).

Chapter 23: Hedging Housing Risk: Is it Feasible? (Steve Swidler and  Harris Hollans).

Chapter 24: Housing Risk and Property Derivatives: the Role of Financial Engineering (Juerg Syz).

Chapter 25: Housing Futures: A role for derivatives? (Susan J. Smith).

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Author Information

Susan J. Smith is Mistress of Girton College Cambridge. She was previously Professor of Geography and a Director of the Institute of Advanced Study at Durham University. She is a graduate of Oxford University (MA, DPhil), a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences and a member of the Society of Authors. Professor Smith has published over 100 scholarly papers covering topics that range from residential segregation to health discrimination, from mortgage equity withdrawal to spread-betting on home price dynamics. Her books include Housing & Social Policy (1990), Housing for Health (2000), The Politics of Race and Residence (1989), and Children at Risk (1995). She is Editor-in-chief of the forthcoming International Encyclopedia of Housing and Home (2012) and has written a variety of press articles on home prices and housing markets.

Beverley A. Searle is a Lecturer in Human Geography at Durham University. She gained a PhD in 2005 from the University of York. Her research interest focuses on housing wealth and households' welfare and well-being. She is author of Well-being: In Search of a Good Life? (2008).

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“The book is a valuable contribution to a range of significant ongoing debates about the role of homeownership and the extent to which this can form the basis of assets-based welfare regimes . . .The present work provides an important step towards the exploration of these wider dimensions.”  (Urban Studies, 1 May 2013)

"A valuable addition to the housing, economics, and public policy literature. Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduate students through professionals." (Choice, 1 March 2011)


"Smith and Searle's book can help students easily comprehend the importance of housing market performance in an economy. It should be very useful to urban and real estate students in every level as well as to a wider variety of readers."
Yong Tu, National University of Singapore

"The Companion is a timely resource interlinking housing studies and economics, and arguing convincingly that they belong at the forefront of new thinking on public policy."
Ian Skelton, University of Manitoba

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