Post-Covid-19 Housing financialization in medium-sized German metropolises. Analyzing the case of Leipzig.

Authors: Dennis Hof*,
Topics: Urban Geography, Economic Geography
Keywords: Financialization, housing, Covid-19, institutional investors, urban geography
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/11/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Virtual 29
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The Covid-19 pandemic has triggered a global crisis with important resemblance to the 2008 global financial crisis. Just like the repercussions of the last crisis altered real estate markets globally with significant effects on housing and urban neighborhoods across Europe, the pandemic’s impacts are prone to jeopardize the revenue flows of tenants and small businesses alike. Depending on the scope and breadth of (housing) policies adopted, this will have immense consequences on how we perceive, appropriate, and use both residential and commercial real estate in our cities, and, thus, how housing inequalities are shaped beyond the 2020s. Against this background, the paper will explore the social, spatial, and economic consequences the pandemic has for urban housing markets in Germany, using Leipzig as a case study. While there already exists solid research on housing financialization in big German cities, the literature regarding medium-sized metropolises is still scarce. Based on a detailed compilation of media sources and real estate data, we will carry out a nuanced mapping of Leipzig’s housing market before and after the pandemic. Stemming from that, we will conduct in-depth interviews with financial actors, municipal actors, tenants and shopkeepers alike. This mixed-methods approach will us allow to (i) scrutinize the housing strategies of transnational real estate investors to the current crisis; (ii) analyze social and spatial impacts for tenants in the “new urban normality”; and (iii) examine the role of public policies for mitigating the effects of the crisis.

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