The South and East Asian Housing
At one level, the aim of this book has been to bring together, in one place, up to date information that would serve as a reference or starting point for readers interested in any of the countries included. At another level, the intention has been to move beyond a series of single country, information rich stories, to consider what is similar and what different about them. This chapter provides a re-appraisal of this intention. It greatly summarises the main features of the eight countries and indicates that with respect to housing they share some common elements, so much so that, arguably, there is validity in supporting the notion of an Asian housing policy system that differs in significant ways from western ones. Further, it summarises those features that indicate differences in approaches and outcomes that separate one Asian country from another.
In addition, the present chapter considers some of the consequences – actual and possible – of the Asian financial crisis of the last years of the twentieth century. Most of the country chapters consider the impact of the crisis; here, those considerations provide a springboard for a brief discussion of future directions in Asian housing policy systems.
The question pursued in this section is whether, when considered at a macro level, housing policy and housing outcomes in our eight Asian countries appear to constitute a distinctive model. The response to the question is approached through comparison with western models.