The dynamics of the housing market in rural Wales
Considerable attention has been given to housing issues in the countryside over recent years. The 1980s and early 1990s have witnessed a whole host of academic publications, policy reports and media articles, with the focus predominantly on the issue of housing affordability. In many ways, the enquiry adds to this burgeoning literature on rural housing issues in conventional terms. In other ways, however, it attempts to provide a broader view of the rural housing market, by considering rural housing issues alongside wider processes of socio-economic restructuring within the Welsh countryside, and also by incorporating in the research methodology elements of housing theory developed predominantly outside the rural arena. Consideration is given to some key aspects of housing and socio-economic change within rural Wales generally and in two case study areas in particular. A detailed examination of the local housing market in each study area then follows based on a series of individual surveys and interviews. Attention is given to state intervention within the market and to the changing nature of social rented housing provision and allocation. In addition, the operations and interests of key agents involved in the supply and distribution of private housing are considered. Finally, the consumption of housing within each study area is investigated, based on a survey of 400 households. The linkages between the local housing market and population in- and out-movement, and the incidence and nature of housing need are examined, together with respondents' attitudes to further residential development and housing need within the community.