Free course

Rent or buy? The challenge of access to housing

Free statement of participation on completion

Everyone needs a place they call home and housing costs are usually your largest outgoing. Many aspire to buy, but rising house prices, while good news for existing owners, put homeownership beyond the reach of others. This free course, Rent or buy? The challenge of access to housing, addresses some of the most important decisions that households must make: buy or rent? Why is housing viewed as a safe investment? Are house prices too high? How can we tell and what makes them change? This free course can help you with your own housing decisions, as well as understand the politics that often drive the housing market.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand some features of the housing market, such as affordability, and decisions to rent or buy, supported by the use of various media, including graphs, tables, news articles, videos and household interviews
  • describe different types of housing finance and, with the aid of an interactive tool and relevant calculations, choose between them given some different constraints
  • explain, using a simple economic model, how demand and supply affect house prices and discuss the consequences for different types of household
  • understand, with the aid of the household financial balance sheet, why housing may be viewed as a store of wealth.