The de-financialization of housing: towards a research agenda (May 2020)

  • The de-financialization of housing: towards a research agenda

  • By Gertjan Wijburg. Published in the Housing Studies journal on 22 May 2020

  • Abstract:

    • Housing financialization, or the increased dominance of financial markets in the housing sector, has not stopped in the wake of the crisis. Rather, it has reinforced and rescaled itself, expanding into new market segments and urban territories.

    • However, while academic scholarship has convincingly exposed the reconfiguration of financialization processes, it has paid surprisingly little attention to how these processes are also contested from within society and the economy.

    • In response to this gap in the literature, I propose in this contribution a threefold research agenda, calling out for more research on

      • (i) financial market reforms aimed at dismantling finance-led housing accumulation;

      • (ii) policy focused on strengthening the public and affordable housing sector;

      • and (iii) changing modes of urban governance and ‘anti-political’ social movements which can contest housing financialization locally.

    • Taking into account these three fields of inquiry, I invite housing scholars to explore how –and if– de-financializing tendencies can become ecologically dominant in post-crisis urban housing markets.

  • Keywords: housing crisis, financialisation, financialization, de-financialisation, de-financialization, investment funds, investment banks, academic research, organised response