Aspects that make up a real estate market

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This chapter aims to provide a clear understanding of the topic and the various factors and aspects that make up a real estate market through a comprehensive review of literature. The literature intends to cover a wide range of opinion from theorists and scholars on the subject housing economics more specifically the law of supply and demand and the impact of government intervention. The aim of a literature review according to Pace (2003) 'to summarise, evaluate and systematically compare a diverse range of literature'. The following literature review should provide the reader with the necessary knowledge of the principles of supply and demand and the relationship between public policy and markets in land and property. The purpose of this chapter is to facilitate an improved conceptual understanding of the impact of public policy on land and property markets.

As we shall see, theories and conceptualizations exist at various levels of abstraction from the 'laws' of Neo-Classical economics to 'bottom up' theories emerging from case study approaches of residential developments in particular areas.

Neo Classical Economics

In neo-classical economics, prices are considered to be determined by the interaction of supply and demand in the land market. In policy terms, the most important question then becomes how far policy directly affects the overall quantity of supply and demand. Neo-classical economists believe if supply is constrained or demand stimulated by public policy, then, other things being equal, land prices will rise. The price mechanism thus operates to return supply and demand to a state of equilibrium. In 'Institutions in British Property Research', Ball et al. (1998) state that for equilibrium to be feasible 'buyers and sellers must be able to use the full available information when making their decisions and operate according to the arguments of their demand and supply schedules. This may not occur, for example, if planning regulation freezes land supply or restrictive long leases severely distort demand.' (Adams et al 2003)

According to neo-classical theory, a perfectly competitive market that experiences no external distortions will achieve a resource efficient allocation without any need for state intervention. According to Needham (1994), the quantitative advantages of neo classical economic theory make it better to explain some property market outcomes than such non quantitative approaches such as Marxist economics.

Model of Supply and Demand

In 1890 the modern supply and demand model was published in Principles of economics by an English Economist Alfred Marshall and has become one the fundamental cornerstones of economics. In ´Supply and Demand´, 2004, Hubert D. Henderson identifies 3 laws in order to describe supply and demand;

• When at the price ruling, demand exceeds supply, the price tends to rise. Conversely when supply exceeds demand the price tends to fall

• A rise in price tends, sooner or later, to decrease demand and to increase supply. Conversely a fall in price tends, sooner or later to increase demand and to decrease supply

• Price tends to the level at which demand is equal to supply

The term elasticity was developed in order to ´measure the degree of responsive of one variable to changes in another´ (Grant 2000). In simple terms the degree to which a demand or supply curve reacts to a change in a variable (such as price) is the curve's elasticity. Elasticity varies among products because some products may be more essential to the consumer and therefore are more insensitive to price changes because consumers would continue buying these products despite price increases. Conversely, a price increase of a good or service that is considered less of a necessity will deter more consumers because the cost of buying the product will become too high.

In Economic Analysis for Property and Business, 2000, Marcus Warren describes three categories of elasticity.

• Price elasticity (demand and supply) - is ´perhaps the most useful and common elasticity measure in property market analysis´. This form of elasticity measures the responsiveness of the quantity demanded or supplied in a market, due to a change in the actual price of the good or service.

• Income elasticity of demand - is simply a measure of the responsiveness of quantity demanded due to change in income

• Cross price elasticity of demand - measure the effect of a change in the quantity demanded of one good or service

The three categories are fundamental in explaining the effect one variable such as price can have an effect on the other and the theory can be applied to products and services including housing. The aforementioned theories and literature are to give the reader an understanding of the basic economic principles involved however a more focused approach in terms of the supply and demand in the real estate market will now be identified.

´The ability to rent or buy creates two separate, though not independent, markets within housing´ (Charles, 1977). In the rental market demand arises from households, who choose to purchase their housing by renting houses, supply can be through both public and private sectors. In the purchase market demand arises from those who wish to purchase their housing services by buying the asset (owner occupation) and landlords who wish to buy the asset to enter the rented market. Supply is sourced in two forms in new accommodation and the supply of second hand dwellings (Charles 1977).

Research investigating the impact of public policies on land and property markets undertaken in the neo-classical tradition is therefore focused on how policy directly affects supply and demand outcomes.

Determinants of Supply and Demand

Demographic Factors such as the rate of household formation which increases demand with the increase in rate of household formation. The number as well as the composition of households is strongly related to changes in demography. In and outmigration to and from the geographical area of the housing market can influence supply and demand (Bysveen and Knutsen (1987). These movements affect the change in population number and the household composition.

While some factors that affect the demand for real estate are the same as those that affect the demand for most other commodities, real estate markets are generally local given its immobility. Due to this, local demand factors such as population change which is one of the key demographic factors that affects the vibrancy and economic vitality of neighborhoods, acting as a measure of housing demand, will influence the market. (Cortesi, 2000). This in theory can be linked to the increased population that comes with residential tourism. Andrew Mason researched the impact rapid population growth and suggests two ways this rapid growth affects the housing sector by increasing demand for residential land and housing, secondly increased demand leads to higher prices, shortages and reduced quality of housing.

In May 2010 Simon Lindsey, Managing Partner of GRMC advisory services, described various factors he had observed in Saudi Arabia these included; the migration of expatriates seeking employment opportunities, Saudi Nationals from other parts of Saudi Arabia and the changing lifestyles among Saudis. These factors combined with population growth will act as a multiplier to demand for housing meaning in the years going forward for each unit increase in the population a greater unit increase in residential units than will be demanded at present. These factors can be considered to what is happening in Oman and provides an excellent example of the effects of these factors.

Another determinant of demand is income or more specifically the level of income can act as financial restriction that determines the choices of the household. This income constitutes the base for the size of the budget that can be spent on housing. Income elasticity varies according to income level, higher income brackets being more responsive than those with incomes of a lower level. Ihlanfeldt (1982) shows that income elasticity of housing demand tends to rise with income. Therefore income elasticity can vary between areas according to their socio-economics. For example a study by Green and Malpezzi (2003) based on the 1993 American Housing Survey shows that households in the bottom 10% of the income distribution spent 50% of income on housing, households in the middle 20% of the income distribution spent 23% of income on housing while households in the top 10% of the income distribution spent only 10% of income on housing.

A fairly large literature now exists on the estimation of the price elasticity of demand for housing, much of it concerned with correctly defining the price term. This is a less than straightforward issue because of the heterogeneous nature of housing as a commodity (Economics and Finance of Property and Housing Discussion Paper No.5 June 2001). Housing is more of a necessity than other real estate, and so demand for housing might be somewhat less price and income elastic (Ionnides and Rosenthal (1994), for example, find that the income elasticity of demand is higher for investment real estate than for housing consumption. According to the price elasticity theory demand would normally be expected to have an inverse relationship to price however in Housing Economics the author outlines that in the case of the housing market this not quite so obvious. The evolution of consumption responses to price changes depends not only upon the demand elasticity but also upon the supply elasticity. (Review of Economics and Statistics, Volume 62 Issue 3, 1980).

Malpezzi and Maclennan (2001) infer the price elasticity of housing supply in the US and the UK from a long-run relationship between income and house prices in these countries. As real estate is fixed, the real estate market is relatively slow to adjust to changes in the factors that influence supply and demand (Lank 2003). Linked in with price elasticity is the availability and price of substitutes, commodities like housing have few (satisfactory) substitutes and therefore rise in their prices will cause a smaller fall in demand than if close substitutes were available (Lipsey and Harbury 1992). At higher prices, real incomes will fall and individuals will reduce their demand. In addition, at higher prices, the alternatives to owning a property, such as renting, appear more attractive and individuals are more likely to rent. When house prices are lower the reverse is true, with individuals encouraged to buy because of a rise in their real income and because renting seems less attractive. In ´Housing Economics´, 1977, Susan Charles presumes that this elasticity is low since only a small percentage of households are likely to be able to afford to change tenure groups.

Due to the current and ongoing financial crisis there has been a reduction in the availability of credit and thus will reduce the demand for housing and lead to a fall in house prices. This is related to the changes in interest rates; higher rates make property less affordable, and will decrease the demand for property (Harvey 1981).

In neo classical economics there is a direct correlation between supply and demand and so by impacting the determinant of one will ultimately have an effect on the other. There are however some supply related determinants such as building costs (in the case of new builds) including the costs of raw materials and labour costs. For example a shortage of labour, for example, could push up the wage rate and increase building costs, which would cause a decrease in supply. Undoubtedly new house building depends upon the availability of land, which may be very limited in the short run. An increase in the availability of land will increase the supply.

The challenge of Neo-Classical economics lies not in its broad conceptualization but in its application. It is theoretically correct but exists at such a high level of conceptualization and abstraction that it is difficult to generate any predictive value from it.

Secondly it posits an artificial 'pure market' state when in reality the world is substantially more complex and complicated with different businesses, organizations and actors not only within the private sector but also in the public sector which regulates land and property markets through planning and other regulatory measures.

Consequently on order to better understand the topic we have to 'drill down' both into other branches of economics and other disciplines to provide better explanatory tools.

Welfare Economics

In welfare economics, it is argued that the distinctiveness of land as a commodity combined with the imperfections and failure in the market make out a clear case for government intervention to improve market efficiency and enhance economic welfare. The physical and legal characteristics of land make it a commodity and it can be difficult to analyse the impact of government policies on land pricing within a neo classical framework.

´Housing is characterized as a special good (a merit good), one which society is concerned to see that its members consume efficient of´. Thus the aim of policy is generally stated as being to ensure sufficient houses, at the right place and time and of the right type for the population (Charles 1977).

Government policies or government intervention can be concerned with redressing specific malfunctions in the market for example the original rent control acts (short run crisis shortage) and action on land prices (inelastic supply). The government can influence the amount of money available for real estate investment through its monetary policies (Lank 2003).

In the UK there is an historic role of government intervention in the housing market. The Rent Acts of the 1960s were designed to protect tenants from abuse and to give them some security. The law was widely disregarded by landlords and by the courts; in so far as regulation did have an effect, it was probably to slow down the rate of decline by preventing landlords from selling. In the 1980s, the Government proposed further deregulation seemingly a repetition of the policy of 1957. The loss of capital value in the owner-occupied market has shored up the private rented sector, because owners have been forced to let properties while waiting for prices to rise again, but this is clearly temporary. This form of rental control rent regimes have generally been dismantled or softened since the mid-1990s. Rent control has been removed in most of Eastern and Central Europe. Asia has also followed the trend: China, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore have lifted rent controls since the early 2000s. However due to rising prices in Gulf States such as Dubai toughened up its 2005 Rent Law and reduced the maximum 2008 rent increase to only 5%. Abu Dhabi has likewise capped 2008 rent hikes at only 5%. Like Dubai rising rentals have forced the Oman government to make drastic changes to rental laws in the country. This law will cap annual rental increases at 7% in a measure expected to protect tenant rights.

The main form of government intervention in terms of the rental market is in the form of rent control. Rent controls in the UK were designed to protect tenants from abuse and to give them some security (Malpass 2009). In Principles of Economics by N. Gregory Mankiw the author states that the role of rent control is to help the poor by making housing more affordable. Another reason for the use of rent control was ´in times of highly unstable housing markets, rent control was seen to help smooth out rent increases´ (Arnott (1981 cited in Ho 1992). Rent control was used as a standard measure even in market economies if rents in the private rental market were considered too high from a political standpoint (Chiquier and Lea 2009). The author also states that rent control is used to help stimulate housing demand and keep rents low to stabilize costs and volume of the construction market. Hulchanski (1984) claims that rent control, if carefully designed and implemented, can achieve: (i) improved security of tenure; (ii) maintenance of the affordability of the existing rental housing stock. However in the ´Encyclopedia of the city´, 2005, the author states that many of the advantages or motives for rent control in Western Europe have been used to justify not abolishing rent control rather than arguments for its introduction.

However in Real Estate Ethics: Good Ethics = Good Business, 1995, the authors Pivar and Harlan state that rent control, generally us opposed by the real estate profession because the legislation (amongst other things) virtually guarantees rental shortages and discourages the construction of new units by limiting future rent increases. In a 1990 poll of 464 economists published in the May 1992 issue of the American Economic Review, 93 percent of U.S. respondents agreed, either completely or with provisos, that "a ceiling on rents reduces the quantity and quality of housing available." As Navarro (1985) notes, on the subject of rent control the economics profession has reached a rare consensus. Rent control creates more problems than it solves. The primary effect of rent control, it is commonly agreed, is a reduction in the supply of rental housing and the deterioration of existing housing stock.

Rent control has been removed in most of Eastern and Central Europe. Asia has also followed the trend: China, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore have lifted rent controls since the early 2000s. However due to rising prices in Gulf States such as Dubai toughened up its 2005 Rent Law and reduced the maximum 2008 rent increase to only 5%. Abu Dhabi has likewise capped 2008 rent hikes at only 5%. Like Dubai rising rentals have forced the Oman government to make drastic changes to rental laws in the country. This law will cap annual rental increases at 7% in a measure expected to protect tenant rights.

The Role of government intervention

Government intervention can also affect the demand and supply of real estate and is often overlooked in the determinants of both however this could be due to the various ways at which the government can impact the real estate market. Government intervention in the real estate market can be through direct intervention or through other policies which ultimately have an implicit effect on the real estate market.

The government can influence the amount of money available for real estate investment through its monetary policies (Lank 2003). In Mastering Real Estate Principles the author Gerald R. Cortesi (2000) adds to this by saying federal government can affect the supply of real estate through regulatory control such as changes to real estate taxation which can affect the desirability of investing in real estate.

Not surprisingly, government intervention is the housing market can be large in scale and has normally been primarily directed at increasing homeownership rates (Floetotto and Stroebel 2010). However in ´Demography and housing demand-What can we learn from residential construction data?´ Thomas Lindh and Bo Malmberg analysed the effect that institutional and social changes can have on real estate prices and found that government intervention that cause a move towards home-ownership will result in an increase in house prices. Ortalo-Hagne and Rady (2002) add to this by arguing that institutional changes encouraging owner occupation affected housing demand by amplifying market volatility.

The main impact of government intervention can be through planning control or land use policies. Planning by definition is ´a mechanism with the explicit purpose of directing future events and seeking to achieve particular future conditions´ (Pennock, 2004). These policies are regarded as a mechanism for the government to exercise its control on the development process. There are theories which advocate that land use regulations (such as zoning and growth controls) may affect property market by constraining supply and increasing demand. ´Housing markets and planning policy´, 2009, Jones and Watkins (the author's state) that planning and planning agreements both constrain development and adapt and shape market forces that operate in the housing market. Gerald (1992) adds to this and states that the planning system restricts land supply in four main ways: (1) restricting the total quantity of housing land made available; (2) restricting the location of land that is made available; (3) restricting the way that the available land is developed; and (4) changing the timing of development. However Gerald, Jones and Watkins do not show how the impact of planning regulations on real estate prices or values. It was long held that land prices cannot push up housing prices since the price of land is determined by the price of housing and not vice versa (Grigson 1986).

However Chesire and Sheppard (1988) argue that containment policies such as zoning will increase the price of new houses, if it reduces their supply. Although high land prices do not cause high house prices both are caused by development restrictions. Given the lack of local studies overseas literature and studies have been research to help aid the reader in showing the effect of contained planning policies have had an effect on real estate prices. Derowski (1975) and Martin (1975) show how urban containment policies introduced in cities in Canada have increased prices. Hannah et al (1993) also analysed the effects of land use controls over land supply on housing in Seoul, South Korea. The authors studied five Seoul development projects and found that a substantial part of the rise in real estate prices was a result of the government restricting the amount of land available for residential development. Monk & Whitehead (1996) also undertook a similar study on the impact of land use planning controls on the supply and price. Their study revealed that planning policies raise the land and housing prices by affecting land supply in different locations, densities and type of houses built in different areas thus increasing speculative behaviour and volatility. It is necessary to draw upon the overseas literature due to limited local studies. Song and Knaap (2004) have a slightly different view in that in cities where supply of land is limited the change in property prices might be mixed during interim periods but will ultimately cause prices to increase. Velijanowski (1988) observes that at the very least that planning restrictions would lead to relative shortages of land and as a result higher prices.

It was thought that land prices cannot push up housing prices since the price of land is determined by the price of housing and not vice versa (Grigson 1986). However Chesire and Sheppard (1988) argue that urban containment will increase the price of new houses, if it reduces their supply. They go on to say that although high land prices do not cause high house prices both are caused by development restrictions. Evans (1987) agrees with Chesire and Shepard by stating that restricting the supply of land i.e. through planning controls, will raise both land and property prices.

To a large extent, most of the overseas literature suggests a relationship between regulation (in terms of planning) and housing supply and price. Planning policies can affect the property market by restraining the location and supply, thus increasing price. Empirically, planning regulation has an effect on housing supply elasticity, though the degree of impact will vary in different contexts. Whatever the case, when regulations rather than ´market forces determine housing stock and density people who have to enter the housing market will be negatively affected by the artificially inflated property prices´ (Geyer 2009).

As real estate markets are generally local given its immobility the extent to which public policy can influence land and property markets will vary from location to location and from development type to development type. Some sub-markets are clearly much more difficult to influence than others. Adams et al. give one example; it would be easier to encourage developers to increase activity in profitable locations such as the south east of England. In other locations, however, land and property markets may be less open to immediate influence by policy-makers and a range of instruments may need to be used in combination to achieve particular objectives. Due to the distinctive nature of real estate as a commodity in conjunction with imperfect nature of their markets Adams et al ensure that contextual influences can just be as significant as factors affecting supply and demand.

As can be seen there is much specific literature and many theories on the impact of Government policy on both capital and rental values of land and property. However the problem with many of these is that they are derived from case studies and thus are partial, specific and do not adopt a comprehensive or synoptic approach.

In order to fully explore the relationship between government involvement and its impact on land and property markets it is important to develop and apply a typology that categorizes and explores the range and types of government intervention.

Types of Government Intervention

The above discussion has highlighted the need to investigate both the process and outcome of government intervention. There is a strong emphasis on the institutional context and in particular the crucial role played by public policy in structuring the context for land market operations. The challenge to policy-makers is thus to think not only of the direct impact of policy on land transactions but of its indirect impact on the context within which transactions occur. Thus to understand the full range of potential policy impacts on land pricing and rental values, it is necessarily to move well beyond supply and demand analysis and give considered attention to the actual and potential policy impacts on information, confidence, risk and uncertainty.

This work aims to improve understanding of how different public policy mechanisms interact with and affect land and property markets. If policy makers and others have a better understanding of the various characteristics of markets and of the potential impact of the public policy tools at their disposal, then policies and initiatives will have a better chance of achieving the desired impacts and outcomes.

Yet, while there is widespread recognition that some public policy 'tools' are better suited to achieving certain policy aims than others, as we have seen above this understanding is largely partial with very specific research on individual tools having been undertaken in the area. Furthermore, the research is often lacking in the understanding of the link between such mechanisms and the characteristics of land and property markets. These questions and issues are of critical importance if policy makers and others are to act effectively. In order to do so we must explore a more comprehensive approach using a typology of public policy mechanisms and their relationship to characteristics of markets in land and property.

Typologies of public policy tools

As we have seen from the earlier discussion in this chapter, in any subject there are usually diverse, evolving and competing ideas or theories that provide a foundation for that area. Typically, typologies may assist the mapping of such a landscape. Typologies are useful analytical tools with three basic functions (Yiftachel 1988):

• Correcting misconceptions and confusion by systematically classifying related concepts

• Organising knowledge effectively by clearly defining the parameters of a given subject

• Facilitating theorising by delineating major subparts of distinct properties and foci for further research.

A number of studies have developed typologies to help classify and organise the relationships between planning tools and land and property markets. Three attempts stand out (cited in Adams et al 2003):

• Lichfield and Darin-Drabkin (1980)

• Healey, McNamara, Elson, and Doak (1988)

• Vigar, Healey, Hull, and Davoudi (2000)

These three approaches were developed and used for different reasons, though all sought to improve understanding of the relationship between public policy and land and property markets.

Lichfield and Darin-Drabkin (1980) identify three types of policy tool in descending order of significance - Direct Control, Financial/ Fiscal and General Influence. Within these categories, they identify a number of characteristics of each measure (or 'policy measures' as they term them) including:

• The specific powers that accompany them (e.g. the power to grant or withhold planning permission)

• The scope (e.g. local, regional or national)

• The agencies where the measure primarily resides (e.g. local planning authority)

• Other characteristics such as enforcement and method of financing

Healey et al., (1988) develop Lichfield and Darin-Drabkin's threefold approach into a fourfold typology - Regulatory, Developmental, Financial and Information and Guidance. Vigar et al. (2000) provide a third typology. Adopting a similar approach to Healey et al. (1988), they offer a four-fold typology of planning tools - Regulatory Measures, Financial measures, Direct development measures and Information and policy guidance combined with sensitivity to temporal, institutional and distributional dimensions.

All three typologies help classify and organise the various components of policy largely building upon and engaging with each other. All pay attention to, and acknowledge, the changing institutional contexts and the ways in which public policy has altered in terms of the emphasis or content over time. However all are now somewhat dated as well as being specifically developed in the UK context. In order to analyse and research the Sultanate of Oman and the policy tools used and by GOSO and their impact, a broader typology is needed.

The task of building a typology is essentially one of classification: how to organise all observations (i.e. policy mechanisms) into meaningful groups (i.e. types) of mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustive categories.

The typology detailed below not only benefits from the aforementioned basic functions developed by Yiftachel but can be used to evaluate the policy (or in the case of Oman, the Royal Decree) and the related policy tools that facilitate and enhance both the introduction and the impact of the policy.

The typology developed by Adams et al 2003 and presented below emphasises the institutional nature of land and property markets. This is achieved through identifying four basic types of policy instrument -- 'market shaping'; 'market regulation'; 'market stimulation'; and 'capacity building' -- with each type being characterized by how it affects (or is intended to affect) land and property markets.

Due to the individual characteristics of country's´ in terms of their economic and social backgrounds and history the four ´types´ developed by Adams et al. do not all have to be used in order to achieve or enhance the ultimate goal.

Source: Adams et al 2003

Let us explore in more detail the tools and how they are operated.

Market shaping

Market 'shaping' tools are those that provide the overarching context within which market actions and transactions occur. Such tools usually have two components:

1. A 'vision' element that sets out a desired strategy. (This can be linked with capacity building as it can convince them to act in accordance with this vision)

2. An element that enables the market shaping tool to be implemented, either through encouragement (i.e. financial stimulus), through compulsion (i.e. a legal form) or in other ways (i.e. because it is self-evidently beneficial to the particular market operator). This element may often depend on the market-shaping tool working in conjunction with other policy tool types.

The type can also be considered to have three main sub-types: public investment plans; statutory plans (i.e. those with a legal basis); and non-statutory plans (i.e. those without a legal basis). While similar in effect to the statutory plan, the non-statutory plan would probably be less effective in practice because it lacks the legal status of the statutory mechanism. It therefore has no element of compulsion and could be ignored by market operators. By contrast, statutory plans would have to be taken into account, particularly where planning permission is required.

Market regulation

Market 'regulation' tools are those that seek to regulate and control market actions and transactions, ensuring that some consideration of externalities and/or some consideration of public/collective interest issues are made within the market transaction. Market regulation mechanisms tend to operate by taking certain rights in land (rather than taking the land itself) and making the exercise of those rights subject to permission of the state.

Market stimulation

Market 'stimulation' tools are those that seek to make the market work better or to facilitate the market working better. More precisely, they encourage market operators to produce more desirable outcomes (where 'desirable' is defined by the policy maker). A way of achieving this would be to offer subsidies (or tax breaks) that encourage more of a desired activity (i.e. they incentivise the activity) and/or through taxes that discourage an undesired activity (i.e. they dis-incentivise the activity). A working distinction can be made between 'carrot-type' and stick-type' policy tools:

• 'Carrot-type' tools are those where market operators have to do something to receive benefits (i.e. to gain the carrot); if they do nothing, they are no worse off.

• 'Stick-type' tools are those where market operators have to do something to avoid being worse off (i.e. to avoid the stick).

Market stimulation policy tools may also work through direct state intervention into land and property markets. An example of this is the state's powers of compulsory acquisition of land, where, for example, a particular parcel of land is acquired by the state through compulsory purchase and released to a private developer (i.e. the policy actions enable site assembly).

Capacity building

'Capacity building' tools build the capacity of market operators. While this type of tool can be identified, it appears in many forms and is difficult to define precisely. As Healey et al. (2002) put it, "… capacity is to be found in the complex relations through which collective action is mobilised and organised to 'give voice' to particular qualities of place."

Innes and Booher (1999) highlight what they perceive as the three dimensions of capacity building in consensus building: knowledge resources; relational resources (trust and cooperation); and mobilization capacity (i.e. the ability to make use of the first two through various formal and informal means). Developing capacity would need to focus on, develop and exploit all three dimensions.

In working in a decreasing level of abstraction from macro-economic theory to a consideration of the role and characteristics of typologies for analyzing and categorizing types of government intervention in land and property markets, we have developed a conceptual framework for the analysis of the research hypothesis.

Our task in the remainder of this work is to apply the analytical framework to the Sultanate of Oman and establish the key policy tools and instruments deployed by the GOSO to stimulate this new market sector.

Some have already been highlighted above i.e. the policy change and enabling legislation that permitted expatriate ownership. However the field research detailed in chapter five reveals, as we shall see a more complex picture of mutually interacting and reinforcing factors that have been deployed as a 'toolkit' to open up the sector.

However before discussing the Oman fieldwork, it is important to discuss the methodology used and the justification for this. This is carried out in Chapter Four.