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Decomposing Housing Unaffordability

Decomposing Housing Unaffordability

A US household is considered ‘rent burdened’ when its rent exceeds 30% of its income. This simple ratio can be decomposed to better understand the sources of unaffordability across space. To demonstrate this new approach, I rewrite the equation for rent burden as a sum of four factors: rent gap, income gap, excess size cost, and demographic baseline, and show that US rental unaffordability is mostly the result of low incomes. Focusing on the New England region, however, I show that high rent is the primary cause of unaffordability in high-cost, high-wage metro areas. This decomposition can help affordability advocates prioritise strategies appropriately across space.

6.5.2021 | Salim Furth | Volume: 8 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 62-71 | 10.13060/23362839.2021.8.1.523

Normalisation of the Speculative Frame Method and Its Application to the Housing Market in Poland

Normalisation of the Speculative Frame Method and Its Application to the Housing Market in Poland

This article proposes the normalisation of the speculative frame method for identifying real estate bubbles, price shocks, and other disturbances in the real estate market. This index-based method relies on time series data and real estate prices. In this article, the speculative frame method was elaborated and normalised with the use of equations for normalising data sets and research methodologies. The method is discussed on the example of the Polish housing market.

22.3.2021 | Justyna Brzezicka, Rados³aw Wiœniewski | Volume: 8 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 36-46 | 10.13060/23362839.2021.8.1.521

Housing Market Access in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area: Between the Financial and the Pandemic Crises

Housing Market Access in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area: Between the Financial and the Pandemic Crises

The Portuguese housing market underwent major transformations between 2010 and 2020. Until then, a delicate but resentful stability had long existed, with distorted rent schemes and low annual price increases proportional to the national economy and the income of the Portuguese population. After the financial crisis, several internal and external variables converged to dramatically change this scenario. In recent years, a growing number of researchers have centred their attention on the difficulties that the Portuguese urban middle-class populations are facing in trying to find homes. This paper analyses these challenges and their impact quantitatively, focusing on the affordability of housing for purchase or rent and considering synthetic indicators for average household incomes in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area between the beginning of 2016 and the end of 2019. The results show that the cost of buying or renting a house in the main Portuguese urban system has become much more detached from local incomes. The article concludes with reflections on the structural reasons for the enduring inequalities in the housing markets and the difficulties recognising territorial cohesion and spatial justice as important elements shaping urban and housing policies in Portugal.

24.11.2020 | Gonçalo Antunes, João Seixas | Volume: 7 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 58-72 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.2.515

Short-term Rentals, Housing Markets and COVID-19: Theoretical Considerations and Empirical Evidence from Four Austrian Cities

Short-term Rentals, Housing Markets and COVID-19: Theoretical Considerations and Empirical Evidence from Four Austrian Cities

Prior to the onset of the pandemic, evidence on the conversion of regular rental housing into permanent holiday homes has fuelled concerns that Airbnb and other short-term rentals contribute to the shortage of affordable homes and to the displacement of regular residents in cities with high housing demand. When the pandemic set in, the media was quick to speculate that holiday homes would be returned to the regular rental market. This paper provides some theoretical reflections on the factors that are driving and impeding such a development and presents preliminary results from an ongoing research project that empirically traces the impacts of COVID-19 on the rental housing market based on an analysis of real estate listings in four large Austrian cities. We argue that a current shift to the regular rental market is likely, but that the medium- and long-term development is uncertain. Empirically, we demonstrate that such a shift has occurred in all four cities considered. We do not find evidence, however, that the increased rental housing supply has dampened rent levels.

23.11.2020 | Justin Kadi, Antonia Schneider, Roman Seidl | Volume: 7 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 47-57 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.2.514

The Spatial Correlation between the Spread of COVID-19 and Vulnerable Urban Areas in Santiago de Chile

The Spatial Correlation between the Spread of COVID-19 and Vulnerable Urban Areas in Santiago de Chile

This article identifies the spatial correlation between the social determinants of health in the housing area (housing prices, overcrowding, poor-quality building materials, and household socioeconomic vulnerability) and the spread of COVID-19 in Santiago de Chile. The research used data from the 2017 Census conducted by the National Institute of Statistics of Chile and data on confirmed cases of COVID-19 (PCR) by communes provided by/obtained from Chile’s Ministry of Health. The article provides a two-fold examination/analysis of the spatial correlation using the Pearson measure to observe how the virus spread from areas with high-quality housing in the early stage of the contagion to then become concentrated in areas with low-quality of housing. The second examination/analysis is a multiple linear regression to identify the housing factors that inform virus propagation. The test results show that of the four social determinants of health relating to housing assessed here, housing prices is the variable that best predicts how the social determinants of health based on housing explain the progress of the pandemic for the Santiago case, following the collinearity factors according to the data used in this study. The conclusions suggest that public policy should treat housing quality as a factor in public health and health risks that needs to be addressed with a transdisciplinary approach to urban planning in Chile.

29.10.2020 | Francisco Vergara-Perucich, Juan Correa-Parra, Carlos Aguirre-Nuñez | Volume: 7 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 21-35 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.2.512

Towards a Political Economy of the Private Rental Sector

Towards a Political Economy of the Private Rental Sector

This article sets out a theoretical framework for the political economy of the private rental sector, with a particular focus on the question of inequality. It brings together three existing bodies of research. First, macro-accounts of social stratification and wealth inequality. Second, Marxian critiques of the antagonism between accumulation and social reproduction. Third, qualitative accounts of tenants’ experiences of housing inequality. The article synthesizes these three literatures to put forward a political economy approach which can capture the multi-dimensional and multi-scale nature of both ‘housing’ and ‘home’ in the private rental sector. In so doing, it contributes to recent research on ‘generation rent’, in particular the related class and generational inequalities, as well as wider debates on the political economy of housing.

30.5.2020 | Michael Byrne | Volume: 7 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 103-113 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.1.507

Subsidised Housing? The Paradoxical Imaginaries of Finnish Non-Profit Rental Housing

Subsidised Housing? The Paradoxical Imaginaries of Finnish Non-Profit Rental Housing

As a developed welfare state, Finland has a long history of and continuing political support for housing policies, ranging from non-profit rental housing to owner-occupied housing supported by tax deductions. The current neoliberal critique, however, has questioned the efficiency and moral foundations of the established policies. This critique has taken as its target the difference between market rents and non-profit rents, citing this as an instance of ‘alternative costs’ for the city and, as such, as a form of subsidy that is unjustly distributed. However, the full picture of different housing subsidies – including those received by owner-occupiers – is not usually considered.  The paper concludes that the current debate does not take into account the ways in which different subsidies interact in the approaches used to provide affordable housing in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. As such the critique becomes tacitly political, although it is represented in terms of rationality and justice.

28.5.2020 | Johanna Lilius, Kimmo Lapintie | Volume: 7 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 130-139 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.1.509

The Diverse Economies of Housing

The Diverse Economies of Housing

This paper questions the uncritical transfer of neoliberal concepts, such as financialisation and overreliance on conceptual dichotomies like formal/informal, as the lenses through which to understand practices of housing provision and consumption in the post-communist space. To this end, it introduces the newly-established ‘diverse economies’ framework, which has been used elsewhere to reveal existing and possible alternatives to advanced capitalism. Applied to the Romanian case, the lens of diverse economic practices helps shed light on the ways in which the current housing system was historically constituted, with implications for how housing consumption is now stratified across some related housing typologies. The paper invites debate on the theoretical usefulness of the diverse economies framework to study housing phenomena, particularly its implications for understanding patterns of inequality and poverty, its potential to devise useful analytical categories, and its effect of directing attention to acts of resistance to neoliberal capitalism.

18.2.2019 | Adriana Mihaela Soaita | Volume: 6 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 32-41 | 10.13060/23362839.2019.6.1.454

Correlation of Homeowners Associations and Inferior Property Value Appreciation

Correlation of Homeowners Associations and Inferior Property Value Appreciation

North to south migration in the U.S. and housing developers’ claims of benefits led to exponential growth in neighbourhood homeowners associations during recent decades. Sanctioned by state laws, association rules governing homeowners are usually initiated by developers who claim that the rules protect property values. But the claim is not supported by empirical analysis. Inflation adjusted annual percentage returns in consecutive sales of a sample of 900 most recent home sales in Duval County Florida, Pima County Arizona and St. Louis County Missouri during late 2017 and early-2018 were examined. The results revealed that the annual percentage returns on homes sold in homeowners associations were significantly less than those of homes in other neighbourhoods statistically controlling for property characteristics and prevailing economic conditions at the time of the original purchase. Correlates of home prices at any point in time are not predictive of percentage return from purchase to sale.

17.2.2019 | Leon Robertson | Volume: 6 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 42-50 | 10.13060/23362839.2019.6.1.455
Housing Financialisation and Families

The Ongoing Role of Family in the Provision of Housing in Greece during the Greek Crisis

The Ongoing Role of Family in the Provision of Housing in Greece during the Greek Crisis

The importance of the institution of family in housing practices has deep historical roots in Greece, and families tend to follow certain housing strategies such as late emancipation from the parental home, intergenerational house transfers and financial support for housing. Providing and maintaining a housing solution for young members is one of the top worries in this geographical region, and it is relieved via intergenerational micro-solidarities. Moreover, today’s crisis and austerity are threatening, through indirect budgetary cuts and rising taxation, the housing well-being of the citizenry which is supported only by family welfare. Nonetheless, the family still constitutes the main shock absorber of social and economic turbulence, but at what price?

6.12.2018 | Myrto Dagkouli - Kyriakoglou | Volume: 5 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 35-45 | 10.13060/23362839.2018.5.2.441
Social Housing after the GFC: Further Evidence

Building Partnerships for Social Housing: Growing Housing Needs and Effective Solutions for Albanian Cities

Building Partnerships for Social Housing: Growing Housing Needs and Effective Solutions for Albanian Cities

Partnerships have a long history in European social housing with a mixed degree of success. They are an emerging model in post-socialist countries driven by budgetary constraints, rapid privatisation of public housing, and pragmatic efforts to respond to a complex housing affordability crisis. This article evaluates the challenges and opportunities of a new partnership model implemented in Albania to provide social rental housing. The project, launched in 2009, involves a legally defined partnership between central and local governments, the private sector, and an international financial institution. It has doubled the amount of municipal rental housing, addressing the needs of low- and mid-income households in Albania through the construction of 1,138 rental apartments for 4,300 people in eight cities. The allocation process, although politically charged, has been targeted. The partnership has capitalised on efficiencies, sound fiscal management, and cost and quality control. Despite some construction delays and potential concerns related to future sustainability, we argue that the partnership model is effective and has an important learning and innovation role for the future provision of social housing in Albania as well as in other post-socialist countries in South-East Europe facing similar challenges.

25.12.2017 | Sasha Tsenkova, Doris Andoni | Volume: 4 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 39-53 | 10.13060/23362839.2017.4.2.385
Social Housing after the GFC: New Trends across Europe

Social Housing Models: Past and Future

Social Housing Models: Past and FutureThis paper looks at the rationale for social housing; examines the models that have been used in Europe over the last century and how social housing might be maintained into the future.
28.6.2017 | Christine Whitehead | Volume: 4 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 11-20 | 10.13060/23362839.2017.4.1.320
Social Housing after the GFC: New Trends across Europe

The Swedish Housing Market from a Low Income Perspective

The Swedish Housing Market from a Low Income PerspectiveAfter the economic crisis in the early 1990s there was excess supply of housing, but over the last 25 years demand has increased because of rising population, rising incomes and low levels of housing construction. The result has been rising prices and longer queues to (rent regulated) rental housing. The lack of affordable housing has made the situation especially difficult for low-income "outsiders", e.g. immigrant groups and various marginalized groups. In the debate about explanations and policies one can find demand for "more market", e.g. deregulating the rental market, weaken the municipal planning monopoly and cutting back on building regulations. There are also proposals for "less market", e.g. state directives about municipal planning volumes, subsidies to housing construction and more active municipal housing companies. As the current government is weak, most initiatives comes from the local level, e.g. both below market rents for lower income households and planning for more low-cost housing.
14.6.2017 | Hans Lind | Volume: 4 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 150-160 | 10.13060/23362839.2017.4.1.334

Monopolistic Competition and Price Discrimination as a Development Company Strategy in the Primary Housing Market

Monopolistic competition and price discrimination as a development company strategy in the primary housing market

Firms operating in the property sector use information asymmetry and the local monopoly to differentiate prices of housing units. Selling similar housing to purchasers at various prices allows them to maximize profits. The aim of this article is to analyze empirically the behavior of developers, that shape the market situation. It is necessary to depart from the classical analysis of enterprises that operate in a free and competitive market and produce typical, homogeneous goods. We analyze firms that produce heterogeneous goods and make individual trans-actions with each client. We use the hedonic regression to compare the theoretical and empirical prices per sq. m. of dwelling in the primary market in Warsaw and find significant dispersions. The price discrimination strategy, can be one of the explanations of the observed high, upward elasticity of prices.

31.12.2016 | Jacek £aszek, Krzysztof Olszewski, Joanna Waszczuk | Volume: 3 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 1-12 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.3.2.286
Special issue on Nature-Home-Housing: Greening and Commoning of Urban Space

Post-Soviet Housing: “Dacha” Settlements in the Tashkent Region

Post-Soviet Housing: “Dacha” Settlements in the Tashkent Region

The post-Soviet period has been witness to a rather difficult process of establishing a new socio-economic and political system in Uzbekistan. The housing question was significantly resolved within the U.S.S.R., while currently the issue of housing has become exacerbated mainly due to the privatisation of the existing housing stock. However, as more young people now enter adulthood, the need for affordable housing once again comes to the forefront in Uzbekistan - namely in Tashkent, a place attracting the youth from all other regions. This research paper focuses on one of the housing solutions in the Tashkent Region: particularly the reconstruction of summer houses, or dachas, into permanent homes for year-round living. The findings are based on several observations from the field and expert interviews with local dacha residents during the summers of 2015 and 2016. The revival of a traditional lifestyle, combined with the modernisation and “Euro-style” of Uzbek houses, represents a case of “indigenous modernities”.

26.12.2016 | Hikoyat Salimova | Volume: 3 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 43-51 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.3.2.297

Reference Housing Costs for Adequate Dwellings in Ten European Capitals

Reference Housing Costs for Adequate Dwellings in Ten European Capitals

Providing adequate housing at affordable prices remains a challenge for all welfare states. As part of a pilot project for developing a common methodology for reference budgets in the European Union, reference rents and other housing costs (energy, taxes, maintenance) corresponding to adequate dwellings for four hypothetical households living in nine capital regions of the EU were estimated. In this paper, we discuss the approach that we have taken. Quality criteria for adequate housing were derived from EU indicators of housing deprivation, and the recent UK Housing Standards Review. We used data from the Study of Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) of 2012. Unsurprisingly, the estimates of reference rents vary strongly across capitals, reflecting cross-national differences in the level of the average rent. By contrast, other housing costs, which mainly reflect energy costs, vary much less.

29.6.2016 | Karel Van den Bosch, Tim Goedemé, Nathalie Schuerman, Bérénice Storms | Volume: 3 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 1-9 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.2.1.248

Effects of Housing Prices on Income Inequality in Urban China

Effects of Housing Prices on Income Inequality in Urban China

This paper explored the effects of housing prices on income inequality in China. By using China''s inter-provincial panel data from 1995 to 2011, we find that both housing prices and long-term mortgage rates are associated with the Gini coefficient of the income of urban residents, and the coefficients of correlation are significant positive. Moreover, a series of housing price control policies promulgated by the Chinese government has worsened the situation and has caused considerable interaction effects on long-term mortgage rates since 2003.

28.12.2015 | Chuanyong Zhang, Fang Zhang | Volume: 2 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 11-18 | 10.13060/23362839.2015.3.2.237
Special issue on Housing Asset-Based Welfare

Homebuying: a Critical Perspective on Financial Costs and Gains

Homebuying: a Critical Perspective on Financial Costs and Gains

In Britain, the shift from the ideology of homeownership into one of homeownership-based welfare has been sustained by homebuyers being regarded as investors. Homeowners are expected to create a synergy between the owned house seen as a space of shelter, place of home and increasingly, an investment vehicle and an object of debt. Drawing on 80 interviews with owner-occupiers and national data on house prices and mortgages, we examine the way in which the meanings of home meanings are negotiated through the subjective calculation of the financial costs and gains of homebuying. We explore homebuyers’ debt amnesia, their miscalculation of gains and their disregard of inflation. However homebuyers’ financially unsophisticated understanding of the asset-home arises less from book-keeping complexities or difficulties in pricing the emotional domain of the home, but rather by them instinctively considering the alternative cost of a rented space of shelter. From this financial perspective and given affordability, homebuying illustrates a misleading ideological notion of choice.

24.6.2015 | Adriana Mihaela Soaita, Beverley Ann Searle | Volume: 2 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 65-73 | 10.13060/23362839.2015.2.1.177

Speculation and Real Estate: Can Speculation Contribute to an Efficient Real Estate Market?

Speculation and Real Estate: Can Speculation Contribute to an Efficient Real Estate Market?

In financial markets, speculation is justified by its contribution to liquidity, hedging, and, if rationally done, for adjusting price to value. Derivatives are essential to turn speculation into an element that contributes an efficient market. Property assets have the distinctive feature of being, residential and productive assets, and, investment assets. This paper studies how speculation may have a positive contribution to the real estate market by regarding it from the triple perspective of property, primitive financial assets, and derivatives. We approach an answer by trying to identify which assets are needed to this end and how they can contribute to guide speculation to efficiency. On this basis, we examine the development of the derivatives on real estate indexes and the perspectives of their future evolution, including their impact on the real market.

29.6.2014 | Anna Maria Panosa Gubau, Maria Teresa Bosch-Badia, Joan Montllor-Serrats, Maria-Antonia Tarrazon-Rodon | Volume: 1 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 44-52 | 10.13060/23362839.2014.2.2.114

Housing Price Volatility and Econometrics

Housing Price Volatility and Econometrics

Econometric models have produced contradictory results and have failed to provide warning of housing market crashes. The article should illustrate the inability of econometrics to reliably predict the last house price bubble and detect the disequilibrium in the housing markets. The authors will demonstrate on particular situation that two distinct but well specified econometric models can lead to different outcomes. The authors argue that the demand for housing is influenced by social constructs, social norms, ideologies, unrealistic expectations, symbolic patterns, and the actual choice of housing is the outcome of complex social interactions with reference groups. Consequently, it is necessary to analyse the potential instability of social constructs, norms, expectations and the changing character of social interactions to better understand purchasing behaviour and, then, house price volatility.

26.6.2014 | Petr Sunega, Martin Lux, Petr Zemèík | Volume: 1 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 70-78 | 10.13060/23362839.2013.1.2.117
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