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Volatility has plagued the UK housing market for four decades. The JRF Housing Market Taskforce identified ways to create a more sustainable housing market, suggesting credible long-term policy options to avoid extreme house price fluctuation and protect vulnerable households from its effects. One year on, our new paper follows up this work, assessing the Government’s progress in tackling volatility.

The paper, by Mark Stephens, who wrote the Taskforce’s final report, and Peter Williams, a member of the Taskforce, reviews policy developments – such as the national housing strategy and new national planning framework – outlines what has been achieved and what remains to be done, and highlights priorities for the Government. 

The recommendations include:

  • conducting a revaluation of property for Council Tax purposes with a view to gradually transforming it into a national land and property value tax;
  • ensuring the Financial Policy Committee has the power to introduce mortgage credit controls, and that the housing market as a whole is monitored as a threat to wider economic stability;
  • monitoring the FSA’s new mortgage rules to ensure they do not unnecessarily exclude low-risk borrowers from the housing market;
  • introducing a more effective safety net for home-owners that shares responsibility fairly between home-owners, lenders and government;
  • switching the emphasis of housing subsidies away from a reliance on Housing Benefit towards housing supply, as part of a new model for financing new affordable housing.


Peter Williams

Mark Stephens

Publication Date

15th September 2012