New paper out in New Political Economy

I’m happy the following paper is now out: The Revival of Private Landlords in Britain’s Post-Homeownership Society. I have been working on this piece with Richard Ronald (University of Amsterdam) during a short Post-Doc fellowship in Amsterdam. It relates to our ongoing work on asset-based welfare policies and housing property, and how these policies fail, with generational and socio-economic inequalities in property ownership becoming more pronounced. Below is the abstract. The paper is available open access here: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13563467.2017.1401055

Homeownership has been declining in favour of private renting in most developed English speaking countries since the early-2000s. Public debates in countries like Britain, Australia and the US have subsequently focused on the ostensible coming of age of ‘generation rent’, constituted of younger individuals excluded from home buying and traditional routes to housing asset accumulation. While the focus of this paper is the significance of access to housing assets as a means to offset potential economic and welfare precarity, our concern is landlords rather than tenants. Drawing on British survey data, we show that the rental boom has been accompanied by increasing multiple property ownership among classes of largely middle-aged and relatively affluent households. Over one-million small-time landlords have emerged in the last decade alone, who, we argue, are part product of historic developments in housing markets and welfare states. Generations of British have not only been orientated towards their homes as commodity assets, they have also begun to mobilise around multi-property accumulation in a context of shifting welfare and pension expectations.

Call for papers for special issue: The rise of multiple property ownership in times of late homeownership.

I’m editing a special issue in the International Journal of Housing Policy together with Cody Hochstenbach (University of Amsterdam) and Christian Lennartz (Rabobank NL). The call is available below:

The rise of multiple property ownership in times of late homeownership

While homeownership has notably grown and spread during the second half of the 20th century in many countries, this trend has recently begun to reverse. Alongside rising house prices, tightening mortgage lending practices, and stagnating wages, homeownership rates have declined again in a number of countries, particularly since the onset of the GFC. Meanwhile, the private rented sector has experienced a remarkable revival.

Much has been said on the restricted access and struggle of market newcomers to get on, and move up, the “property ladder” in the post-crisis context. This has been of particular concern in homeowner societies like Britain, the US, or Australia, where housing property wealth has gained prominence as an alternative form of social insurance for households in times of neo-liberal welfare austerity. Public debates in these countries have framed the emergence of ‘generation rent’, suggesting it is particularly younger generations who have been facing mounting barriers to purchase housing and accumulate housing assets – and instead have to settle for rent.

Much less focus has so far been on how the homeownership-to-private-renting shift in recent years has been paralleled by a notable rise in multiple property owners and private landlords. There is emerging evidence in countries like Great Britain, the US, and Australia of owners purchasing secondary property or private rental housing to let on a significant scale. We thus see the number of owners with extra property growing, a trend occurring alongside the increasing number of people without any property. This signals a more complex restructuring of property relations and more unequal housing asset distribution in times of late homeownership than previously assumed. These changes ask for a deeper investigation of emerging ‘post-crisis housing regimes’.

The special issue sets out to explore the levels, causes, and consequences of the rise of multiple property ownership in an international perspective, ideally including contexts that have so far been less extensively covered in the literature. We welcome both empirical and theoretical contributions. We particularly (but not exclusively) encourage submissions on the following, or related, questions:

  • What is the level and extent of multiple property ownership in different countries?
  • Who is investing in for-rent properties and for what purpose?
  • What are the underlying economic and political processes at work?
  • What are the longer-term and structural implications for post-crisis housing regimes, as well as for policies of property or asset-based welfare?
  • What are the political and economic consequences of the emerging divide between housing-haves (multiple property owners) and housing-have-nots (tenants)?
  • How is the restructuring of property ownership and the growth in multiple property owners affecting the overall distribution of wealth?
  • What are the spatial dimensions to the increase in multiple property ownership, and how does this trend affect urban geographies (e.g. through changing investment flows and gentrification)?

Submit your abstract to Justin Kadi (Justin.Kadi@tuwien.ac.at) before February 1st 2018!

Preliminary time plan:  abstract submission by February 1st 2018, notification of selected abstracts by March 1st 2018, first draft due by June 1st 2018.

For any questions feel free to contact Justin Kadi. You can also have a look at the journal website here: http://ijhp.online/2017/11/15/cfp-the-rise-of-multiple-property-ownership-in-times-of-late-homeownership/