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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

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 Challenges of the Redevelopment of Old and Dilapidated Buildings in Mumbai: A Policy Perspective

Affordable housing is the biggest challenge being faced by the city of Mumbai, which styles itself as an emerging Global Financial Centre. The city has the image of being home to a stark dualism, with slums abutting modern skyscrapers. Over the years, adequate policy attention has been given to slums and with the implementation of the Slum Rehabilitation Scheme slum dwellers are being provided with housing in multi-storey buildings and are being granted tenancy rights to the dwellings. However, an emerging area of concern is the large housing stock that is non-slum but is old and dilapidated. The collapse of an old and dilapidated building in Dongri in July 2019 that killed twelve people and the one at Bhendi Bazaar in 2017 that killed thirty-three has brought this problem into the mainstream and new policies have been initiated to address the problem. Implementing these policies seems to be a challenge, and this is the result of different factors. This article looks at the housing problem in Mumbai from a policy perspective and analyses the implementation challenges of the new policy aimed at redeveloping the old and dilapidated housing stock.

14.11.2020 | Satish M.K. | Volume: 7 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 36-46 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.2.513

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

How to Support Social Resilience in Tsunami-Devastated Communities: Iwanuma Case Study

This paper describes the post-disaster reconstruction in the Tohoku region after the 2011 earthquake. Nine years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami occurred, and many efforts have been made since to rebuild the devastated territories. Some Japanese architects and urban planners have seen the recovery as a window of opportunity to aim for more resilient cities. Nevertheless, building disaster-resilient communities remains a challenging task. This short paper presents the initiatives made to improve refugees’ social conditions in disaster-relief housing, using the case study of Iwanuma’s relocation project. Concluding remarks suggest that many efforts have been made to improve the social aspect of disaster-relief housing in Japan, for example through the development of community spaces or the pursuit of friendlier dwellings.

28.10.2020 | Camille Cosson | Volume: 7 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 11-20 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.2.511

Choice or No Choice? Genuine or Fake Choice? – A Qualitative Study for Reflecting on Housing Choice

This paper seeks to reflect on issues related to the nature of housing choice, drawing on qualitative empirical data collected in in-depth interviews.  This paper discusses two perspectives related to housing choice, namely, the ‘market perspective of housing choice’ and the ‘perspective of housing choice for well-being’. The ‘market perspective of housing choice’ highlights that desirability generally increases with a greater range of housing choice as the housing supply increases till a climax is reached, after which a further expansion of housing choice may indicate an excess housing supply, which may not be advantageous and home-buyers may instead ‘decide not to choose or buy’.  The ‘perspective of housing choice for well-being’ reveals that choice in the housing arena is often viewed as a means to eventual well-being, rather than as an end in itself.  Housing choice is ‘genuine’ and ‘meaningful’ if there are meaningful and significant options among a few desirable housing alternatives. ‘Fake housing choice’ involves having to choose from among housing options that are all generally bad.

27.7.2020 | Betty Yung, Barbara Y.P. Leung | Volume: 7 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 1-10 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.2.510
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