Housing supply and suppliers: Are the microeconomics of housing developers important?

Chris Leishman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
103 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper, I review the US, UK and international literature on the responsiveness of housing supply to demand. This is a well-developed area of the literature, but I put forward two new arguments: that developers face downward sloping demand curves in the housing market, and that housing developers as firms are sufficiently heterogenous that their output decisions cannot be generalised. I draw on the international literature but use the recent UK experience as a lens, arguing that the post Barker review planning policy and housing supply reforms did not yield as much additional housing supply as had been hoped and expected by policy markets and the housing development industry itself. After introducing two specific propositions, I present new statistical estimates that are at least highly suggestive that firm-specific factors are of importance in understanding supply responsiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)580-600
Number of pages21
JournalHousing Studies
Issue number4
Early online date30 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - May 2015


  • affordability
  • developers
  • house prices
  • housebuilders
  • housing supply

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies


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