Reconstructing the real estate-finance link: Housing financialization after the crisis



The treatment of housing as a financial asset helped create the conditions for the 2008 global financial crisis. Yet restoring the link between finance and the built environment has also been integral to strategies for recovering from the crisis. The process of financialization is therefore ongoing, but its nature is dynamic. In many countries experiencing systemic housing-financial crises in 2008, for example, the link between finance and housing is currently being remade across tenure and beyond owner-occupation through the rental sector. Within this post-crisis landscape, local and national governments assume complex and varied roles, often enabling or executing housing financialization. At the same time, housing remains a key site in struggles for urban justice, illuminating the fault lines and fragility of financialization.

Though undoubtedly a global process, financialization remains deeply contingent on local and national contexts; indeed the path of post-crisis housing financialization outlined above is but one possible trajectory. To understand the variegated ways the housing-finance link is being (re)constituted, we seek perspectives from across and beyond the heartlands of the global financial crisis–including critiques of the very notion of ‘post-crisis’. Comparative, empirically rich, and historically-grounded approaches are particularly welcome. Contributions from PhD students and early career scholars encouraged. Papers might address:

·       The reconstruction or reworking of the housing-finance link in specific urban and/or national contexts, and the socio-spatial impacts of this process;

·       The state as enabler, facilitator, or even executor of housing financialization;

·       Financialization across different housing tenures: owner-occupied, public and private rental, student, and elderly/care housing;

·       How housing financialization governs people and place, e.g. the making of tenants as ‘financial subjects’; Intersections of housing financialization with the financialization of other sectors, e.g. of infrastructure and climate risk; or

·       Efforts to contest or interrupt financialization, e.g. alternative relationships to land and  housing, tenants movements.


Desiree Fields, University of Sheffield

Joe Beswick, University of Leeds

Zac Taylor, University of Leeds