In this Brief, the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute assesses evidence on trends within the UK housing market since the financial crisis. It concentrates in this regard on regional differences within the apparent housing market recovery, and considers what these differences indicate about the nature of the UK’s post-crisis growth model and the purpose of schemes such as ‘Help to Buy’. The Brief also assesses the regional impact of the coalition government’s recent changes to stamp duty on housing transactions – announced in December 2014 – and considers what this measure tells us about the government’s economic stewardship. It finds that regional housing inequalities have widened, and that the coalition government’s decision to significantly reduce stamp duty indicates that it is relatively unconcerned by this trend, and the economy’s dependence on the housing market more generally.
The Brief is free to download: The UK housing market and stamp duty reform.