Exploratory research on financialisation of housing in EU cities (European Commission, June 2020)

  • Who owns the city? Exploratory research activity on the financialisation of housing in EU cities

  • Published by the Unit B3 Territorial Development of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission on 24 June 2020

  • From the abstract:

    • This report resumes the main findings from Citown, an exploratory research activity on the financialisation of housing in EU cities [Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Berlin, Lisbon, Madrid, Paris, Porto, Stockholm, Vilnius]

    • The study follows indications that over the past years investors have been increasingly active on urban housing markets, using housing as a vehicle for wealth and investment, rather than considering it a social good.

    • This development is assumed to have a negative effect on housing affordability, especially for the lower and middle classes.

    • This study serves to get a better understanding of housing financialisation through an open–minded and investigative approach, providing stepping- stones for future research.

    • The study includes three main research components (seven city case studies; advanced analyses of Amsterdam housing data; descriptive data on institutional investment in multifamily property) supported by two experts workshops.

    • Most findings confirm the assumption that housing financialisation negatively impacts housing affordability. At the same time, it becomes clear that causality is complex, pointing to the housing system as a complex myriad of factors that either directly or indirectly influence and reinforce each other.

    • The study further indicates that to better understand housing financialisation across EU cities, as well as its consequences, more (harmonised) data are needed.

  • Keywords: EU, European Union, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Holland, Athens, Greece, Barcelona, Madrid, Spain, Berlin, Germany, Lisbon, Porto, Portugal, Paris, France, Stockholm, Sweden, Vilnius, Lithuania, corporate landlords, investment funds, institutional investment, financialisation, financialization, rental markets, affordability