New Geographies of Residential Capitalism: Financialization of the Turkish Housing Market Since the Early 2000s


The post‐2001 financial crisis era in Turkey gave rise to twin booms in housing construction and credit markets, both of which suffered from the subsequent debt crisis. The financial transformation of the economy in conjunction with state‐led urban legislation reform had significant effects on the housing market in terms of commodification of housing, countrywide construction activities and substantial increases in household debt and construction company loans. The changing role and function of the state as a direct provider of housing can be regarded as actually existing neoliberalism providing favourable conditions for financialization, as it ushered in the commodification of housing. The Turkish government, together with the government‐backed housing agency, metropolitan municipalities and publicly owned real‐estate investment company, has been active in nationwide housing construction and urban regeneration projects. This article argues that there is a lack of synchrony between the commodification of housing and the financialization of the household sector owing to the institutional setting of the mortgage system and structural macroeconomic problems. Rather, housing commodification has been accompanied by the financialization of the corporate sector through a steep rise in the external debt burden of construction companies.