There is a small but growing literature on the financialization of housing that demonstrates how housing is a central aspect of financialization. Despite the varied analyses of the financialization of housing and the importance of housing to financialization, the relations between housing and financialization remain under-researched and under-theorized. The financialization of housing is not really a specific form of financialization, transcending as it does a number of different forms of financialization. Housing systems, in particular, vary widely across the globe, which implies that housing financialization will be inherently variegated, path-dependent and uneven. In this introduction to the symposium, I will discuss how the articles to follow contribute to the literature on the financialization of housing. Housing has entered a post-Fordist, neoliberal and financialized regime. Increasingly, both mortgaged homeownership and subsidized rental housing are there to keep financial markets going, rather than being facilitated by those markets. There is little evidence that the global financial crisis has resulted in any de-financialization of housing. There are common trajectories within uneven and variegated financialization, rather than radically different and completely unrelated forms of housing financialization.
Manuel B. Aalbers
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