Housing financialization and affordability in Southern Europe: the role of the state

Authors: Myrto Dagkouli-Kyriakoglou, CRUSH, Institute of Urban Research, Malmö University, Simone Tulumello*, UNIVERSIDADE DE LISBOA, Alessandro Colombo, Centro de Investigação e Estudos de Sociologia, ISCTE-IUL
Topics: Urban Geography
Keywords: real estate; finance; urban development; housing; affordability
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Virtual 38
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In Southern European countries, the formal ‘welfare state’ has never provided a universal response to housing needs. The latter have been historically addressed through a mix of policies, above all those supporting homeownership, and thanks to the recourse, on the side of households, to the assistance of family and personal informal networks . As a result, homeownership rates have been, for some decades, among the highest in Europe; but without solving housing affordability problems. On the contrary, housing problems are intense and were deepened by the GFC, during which these countries faced some of the biggest impacts in Europe and following austerity policies. In the aftermath of the crisis, we could observe: a renewed importance of the rental market, and, at the same time, the swift acceleration of financialization . The latter, often were boosted by austerity measures and international investments. Most scholarly analyses of these processes have emphasized the role of the state in housing financialization as one, above all, of ‘enabler’ of these processes. In this paper, we build on a comparative project on housing financialization in Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece, focusing on the role of the state as, together, enabler, promoter and shaper h; and on how institutional and political economic arrangements framed this role. In particular, we will focus on those policies and programmes that have direct impact on housing affordability, and on the possible prospects for a new balance between homeownership and rental market.

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