1st Edition

The Financialization of Housing A political economy approach

By Manuel B. Aalbers Copyright 2016
    168 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    168 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Due to the financialization of housing in today’s market, housing risks are increasingly becoming financial risks. Financialization refers to the increasing dominance of financial actors, markets, practices, measurements and narratives. It also refers to the resulting structural transformation of economies, firms, states and households. This book asserts the centrality of housing to the contemporary capitalist political economy and places housing at the centre of the financialization debate.

    A global wall of money is looking for High-Quality Collateral (HQC) investments, and housing is one of the few asset classes considered HQC. This explains why housing is increasingly becoming financialized, but it does not explain its timing, politics and geography. Presenting a diverse range of case studies from the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Spain, the chapters in this book include coverage of the role of the state as the driver of financialization processes, and the part played by local and national histories and institutions. This cutting edge volume will pave the way for future research in the area.

    Where housing used to be something "local" or "national", the two-way coupling of housing to finance has been one crucial element in the recent crisis. It is time to reconsider the financialization of both homeownership and social housing. This book will be of interest to those who study international economics, economic geography and financialization.

    1 Introduction: Financialization and Housing Studies

    2 Centring Housing in Political Economy

    With Brett Christophers

    3 The Financialization of Home and the Mortgage Market Crisis

    4 The Great Moderation, the Great Excess and the global housing crisis

    5 Financialization and Housing: Between Globalization and Varieties of Capitalism

    With Rodrigo Fernandez

    6 Mortgage Lending and House Price Developments in Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and the US

    7 The Financialization of Subsidized Rental Housing

    8 Conclusion: The 21st Century Housing Question


    Manuel B. Aalbers is Associate Professor of Human Geography at KU Leuven/University of Leuven, Belgium, where he leads an ERC project and research group on the intersection of real estate, finance and states.

    "The book will be of cross-disciplinary interest and will appeal to economists, economic geographers and anyone interested in housing systems, financialisation and the conceptualisation of increasing global interdependencies and their consequences. Certainly recommended reading for any housing scholar."

    Ryan Powell, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, University of Sheffield, International Journal of Housing Policy