Ana Cordeiro Santos, WP5 leader, attended the Third International Seminar “The Real State Estate/Financial Complex“, in Leuven (BE), on 13-15, January. She gave a presentation entitled “Finance and Housing: Common trends producing differentiation”, stemming from FESSUD Finance and Well-being Survey: Report, Working Paper Series No 130, January 2016.
The paper discusses the role of finance in housing provision in 5 EU countries representative of different types of financial system and welfare regime: Sweden, Germany, the UK, Portugal, and Poland. Based on a survey carried in these countries (part of the FESSUD EU project), it shows that the expansion of mortgage markets is a shared trend and part of a shift from collective to more individualized forms of welfare in housing provision. It also shows that the content and implications of this trend differ and in ways that cannot be simply read off by looking at the mere size of the mortgage market in each country. Even similar sizes and patterns of mortgage debt at the aggregate level disguise highly differentiated situations at the household level, calling into the analysis how housing provisioning is organized and takes places in specific, historically-given conditions and geographical contexts.
It argues that the expansion of mortgage markets has meant that housing has become an important conduit to further push households into financial markets and expanding the scope for financial profit, through both interest on mortgage payments and trading rights to those payments on secondary mortgage markets. Notwithstanding important differences across countries, it also argues that owner-occupation has become an ever more important means through which households meet a growing portion of their welfare needs, underpinning the on-going construction of asset-based welfare forms of provision and constituting a new mechanism of production and reproduction of socio-economic inequality.
To consult the programme of the event, please click here.
Ana Santos’ PPT presentation is available here.