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Institute of Advanced Study

The Management and Governance of Housing Wealth

8th and 9th February 2007 

Senate Lounge, Durham Castle 

In the wake of what the Economist dubs ‘the biggest bubble in history' the costs and opportunities of house price appreciation have a decidedly international dimension. In particular there is a convergence of interest among economists and other social researchers concerning:

  • The practice and wisdom of concentrating households' wealth into owner occupied housing
  • The problems of, and prospects for, using housing (and especially mortgage) equity withdrawal, across the life course and in different regulatory regimes, to promote personal and social welfare, and to achieve economic gains
  • The options for protecting households, and institutions exposed to housing, from the risks of a narrow investment portfolio and the price volatility of real estate
  • The possibility and limitations of extending the financial benefits of house price appreciation more widely within societies

This Think Tank will bring together a small group of researchers from Australasia, Europe and North America to brainstorm a range of issues around the governance and use of housing wealth, and the management of associated financial risks. Two questions lie at the heart of the meeting: 

  • To what extent is housing wealth viewed, accumulated and used as a financial resource, and in particular to what extent does it have a safety net or insurance role for individuals and communities?
  • What are the costs of positioning housing wealth as a cornerstone of economic management and as an asset base for welfare; how can any benefits of this strategy be maximised, and the risks effectively managed?
For further details please follow this link: Housing Wealth Think Tank Website
Supported by the UK Economic and Social Research Council, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the IAS