OECD Housing resources

Explore recent OECD housing-related reports, working papers and policy briefs.

Explore key housing content

Housing amid Covid-19: Policy responses and challenges

Housing policies for sustainable and inclusive cities

Housing policies for sustainable and inclusive cities

The rising cost of the middle-class lifestyle

The rising cost of the middle-class lifestyle

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21/07/2022
Housing Taxation in OECD Countries provides a comparative assessment of housing tax policies in OECD countries and identifies options for reform. The study starts with an overview of recent housing market trends and challenges and an analysis of the distribution of housing assets. It then examines the different types of taxes that are levied on housing in OECD countries, assessing their efficiency, equity and revenue effects. It also evaluates the role of specific tax policy instruments in addressing current housing challenges. Based on the assessment, the study outlines a number of reform options that governments could consider to enhance the design and functioning of their housing tax policies.
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22/06/2022
Against a background of labour market and broader challenges linked to COVID-19, the enduring rise of real house prices over the past decades has made it increasingly difficult for young households to buy their first home in many OECD countries. This report identifies a number of key challenges facing young people in the housing market, and proposes a series of selected policy issues for further research.
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22/06/2022
Boris Cournède from the OECD Economics Department and Marissa Plouin from the OECD Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs explore the challenges faced by young people, who increasingly struggle to find quality, affordable homes.
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03/05/2022
The paper introduces a novel, granular house-price dataset sourced from a network of public and private data providers. It offers the first results of investigations into changes in the urban geography of housing markets following the COVID-19 pandemic. The rapid rise of working from home practices is likely to incentivise many people to seek more space and accept living further away from city centres as commuting requirements are reduced. The paper's results indicate that housing demand might have indeed shifted away from the centres to the peripheries of many large urban areas. These early results also show that such a shift has been neither universal nor uniform. It is typically stronger in cities where pre-COVID-19 house price disparities were larger and where moving to the periphery provides significantly better access to green space while still allowing easy access to high-speed internet and/or where COVID-19 restrictions were more stringent. The paper concludes by discussing implications for policy, including the benefits of flexible settings that allow supply to adjust smoothly to new demand patterns and outlining avenues for future work planned to improve and capitalise on the new dataset.
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12/01/2022
This paper measures the effective taxation of housing investments in 40 OECD member and partner countries. The paper derives both Marginal Effective Tax Rates (METRs) and Average Effective Tax Rates (AETRs), which incorporate the stream of income and taxes over the life of the housing investment. The methodology is applied to owner-occupied and rented residential property for investments that are financed with debt or equity. The paper finds that the level and components of housing taxation depend greatly on the investment scenario. Effective tax rates vary substantially depending on the holding period, rate of return, tenure (owner-occupied or rented), financing scenario, and the inflation rate. Effective tax rates do not vary much with the taxpayer’s income and wealth or with the rate of return. The paper finds there is scope to reduce the tax differential between different investment scenarios and strengthen progressivity and horizontal equity.
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14/12/2021
The landscapes of housing loan markets vary considerably across OECD countries, reflecting differences in preferences and policy settings. This paper first draws a topography of disparities in mortgage structure, documenting considerable variation across OECD countries in key features such as in use of fixed vs variable interest rates and typical maturities. The paper then discusses policies that can influence these outcomes. It highlights the scope for encouraging inclusive access to housing through tax-and-spending programmes that are neutral between renting and owning rather than through often very costly tax advantages for mortgage borrowing. The paper finally proposes a novel indicator to measure the balance between the rights of borrowers and lenders. Mortgage markets are deepest in countries where the index shows that creditor and borrower rights are balanced rather than severely tilted to one side.
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14/12/2021
This report reviews key trends in real estate finance since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) and the more recent COVID-19 pandemic. It offers an integrated assessment of the shift from structured products to leveraged institutions and collective investment vehicles and puts forward policy considerations to help mitigate procyclicality and excessive risk taking in real estate markets by some entities in the non-bank financial sector.
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13/12/2021
Following a period when homelessness rose in many countries, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted governments across the OECD area to provide unprecedented public support – including to the homeless.How can countries build on this momentum and ensure more durable outcomes? The experience of Finland over the past several decades – during which the country has nearly eradicated homelessness – provides a glimpse of what can be possible with a sustained national strategy and enduring political will.
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08/12/2021
While indices tracing the evolutions of regional house prices are increasingly available, this is less the case for similar data on house price levels. And where data on house price levels exist, they are not necessarily consistent with the patterns observed from house price indices. Yet, consistent regional statistics on house price levels are fundamental to assess housing affordability, potential barriers to labour mobility across regions, and for the design of housing policies. This article puts forward a method to compile regional house price levels that are consistent with the evolutions given by quality-adjusted house price indices, representative of the underlying stock of dwellings, and based on the information on house price levels that is available at all dates rather than in a single reference year. This method could be scaled up to different countries. The results obtained with Spanish data show that the decline in house prices following the global financial crisis of 2008-09 initially reduced the dispersion in house prices across Spanish regions, but this dispersion has increased again afterwards, and since 2016, it exceeds the one recorded in 2008. A comparison of price-per-m² to regional-income ratios shows that the relative housing affordability in the region of Madrid deteriorated compared to all other Spanish regions in the last decade. Monitoring whether shifts in housing demand following the COVID-19 pandemic will reverse this trend will be key.
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03/09/2021
This paper discusses housing challenges facing people with disabilities in OECD and EU countries, and policy supports to make housing more affordable, accessible and adapted to their needs. It focuses on the adult population with disabilities living outside institutions, drawing on data from the European Union Survey of Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), household surveys, national population census and disability surveys, and country responses to the 2021 OECD Questionnaire on Affordable and Social Housing. The paper summarises housing outcomes; discusses policy supports to ensure that people with disabilities can be safely, affordably and independently housed; and outlines actions for policy makers.
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28/07/2021
Dr. Rüdiger Ahrend and Dr. Jaebeum Cho from the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities argue that real-life housing politics is more complicated than playing Simcity and call for better coordination of land-use and zoning policies across levels of government with the view to better aligning housing demand and supply.
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12/07/2021
The authors, all economists at the OECD’s Environment Directorate, discuss avenues on how to reconcile housing affordability with environmental sustainability.
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02/07/2021
Volker Ziemann, an economist at the OECD’s Economics Department, uses a stylised model to illustrate how moving towards best practices in terms of housing policies can improve housing affordability.
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21/06/2021
Arent Skjæveland from Norway’s Ministry of Finance and chair of the OECD Economic Policy Committee calls for a multi-facetted housing policy strategy that cuts across areas such as regulation, taxation, environment and social housing.
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18/06/2021
Across OECD and EU countries, people with disabilities continue to struggle in the housing market, due to a persistent lack of accessible housing solutions, insufficient attention to the design features that make housing accessible, and significant financial and informational barriers in the housing market. With around one in four adults reporting some form of disability that limits their participation in everyday activities, the challenge is significant and expected to grow. This brief assesses the housing situation of people with disabilities and the types of housing supports that are currently available, and outlines strategies to improve housing outcomes among people with disabilities.
15/06/2021
The OECD’s Volker Ziemann argues that housing policy is one of the most complex policy challenges of our time and that improving the social inclusiveness, economic efficiency and environmental sustainability of housing can help deliver much-needed progress.
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14/06/2021
The Covid-19 crisis, along with digitalisation, climate change and population ageing will have durable and uncertain, effects on housing demand and supply, including both residential and commercial markets. Luiz de Mello, Director of Economic Policy at the OECD looks at how housing policies that use solid evidence, good practices and mutual learning can support our quest for better lives.
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31/05/2021
The report brings together evidence, international experience and policy insights for the design of housing policies. Emphasis is placed on three broad aspects: inclusiveness, efficiency and sustainability. Inclusive access to housing has become increasingly challenging in many OECD countries due to a large extent to rising housing costs, which reflects the failure of housing supply to meet demand, particularly in jobs-rich urban areas. Geographical constraints play a role, but in many cities regulations, including on land-use and zoning provisions, also constrain supply. At the same time, some regulations on tenant-landlord relations can discourage the development of rental markets, pushing up rents. Moreover, the transition to a low-carbon economy poses challenges for a sector that accounts for 17% of CO2 emissions and 37% of fine particulate matter emissions globally. Almost two-thirds of countries worldwide still lack mandatory building energy codes. Frontloading efforts is critical as dwellings have a very long lifespan. The report lays out evidence-based options for concerted policy action to address these challenges, while recognising complementarities and trade-offs amond the different objectives of housing policies. The report is part of the OECD Housing Tookit, which includes an interactive online dashboard of housing indicators and country snapshots.
18/01/2021
Housing affordability can be broadly defined as the ability of households to buy or rent adequate housing, without impairing their ability to meet basic living costs. Yet the reality is more complex, both in terms of the metrics used to measure housing affordability, as well as the policies introduced to make housing more affordable. As discussed in this brief, some measures provide an indication of housing affordability among the median household, while others are better suited to assess the challenges facing specific groups, such as low income households, youth or seniors.
18/01/2021
#Stayhome. #Restezchezvous. #Quedaencasa. The COVID-19 crisis and the recurrent lockdowns have put a spotlight on inequalities in housing quality: while some people experienced lockdown in relatively comfortable conditions, others were struggling with overcrowding or missing access to a computer, the internet or a garden. And bad housing quality also puts people’s health at higher risk.
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