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Landlords vs Tenants = Top vs Bottom? Class Positions in Rental Housing in Germany

Home ownership status is closely linked to social inequality in Germany, where tenants face several disadvantages in multiple dimensions. Even though Germany is one of the biggest renter and therefore landlord nations, in the context of the housing question it is the demand side that has been discussed and studied most. Less attention has been given to the supply side, particularly individual small-scale landlords. This article is one of the first attempts to shed light on the largest provider group that literally holds the keys to homes in its hands. Drawing on quantitative data, this article examines the socioeconomic profiles of landlords compared to tenants over time, finding landlords in the upper strata and witnessing long-term wealth divides in relation to tenants. Coupled with structural power imbalances during tenancies, this research seeks to stimulate research on private renting in the future from a class perspective.

30.6.2023 | Philipp Kadelke | Volume: 10 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 66-76 | 10.13060/23362839.2023.10.1.554

The Role of Mortgage Subsidies in the Croatian Economic Growth Strategy: a Political-Economy Approach to the SSK

Since 2017, Croatian housing policy has focused on promoting homeownership through the SSK programme – a form of mortgage subsidisation that covers a proportion of housing costs. Although this policy aimed to improve affordability and increase homeownership, a recent economic evaluation has shown that the SSK has in fact contributed to rising house prices and has been ineffective at raising the homeownership rate. While econometric research has identified the impact that the SSK has had on house price volatility and affordability, the underlying factors leading to the implementation of this subsidy, as well as its broader societal impacts, remain under-researched. Through a political-economy lens, this paper analyses the context that led to the inception of the SSK, its core targeting principles, and its impact on the housing market. We ask: How does this subsidy position the Croatian housing market within the national strategy for economic growth and social policy provision?  We argue that this policy’s impact on housing markets is twofold. First, the SSK reinforces a shift towards financialised growth through increased asset prices. Second, this subsidy shifts the focus of social policy towards mortgage markets, thereby furthering the privatisation of the welfare state and favouring middle-income groups. This paper’s contribution resides in critically discussing the SSK beyond its stated goals and contextualising it within the broader model of economic growth dependent on private finance. Through interviews with relevant stakeholders, descriptive data indicators, and a review of policy documents, this paper characterises the Croatian growth strategy as a form of small-scale financialisation that relies on aligning social policy with mortgage markets. Finally, we position the SSK within a wider array of finance-led housing policies and suggest the formulation of a comprehensive housing strategy tailored to the broader segments of Croatian society.

16.6.2023 | Alejandro Fernandez, Gojko Bezovan | Volume: 10 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 50-65 | 10.13060/23362839.2023.10.1.553

Traces of Obduracy: Imaginaries of ‘Social Inertia’ in the Process of Introducing Collaborative Housing in the Czech Republic

This paper explores the sociotechnical change necessary for the introduction of collaborative housing projects into the Czech super-homeownership housing regime. To better understand the obduracy of the current housing system, we examine the major barriers and threats to the implementation of such projects through a series of workshops with non-experts in selected cities. Our findings suggest that the housing system’s obduracy is related to social imaginaries that we conceptualise as the ‘imaginary of social inertia’. This form of imaginary, along with other factors such as a lack of supporting legal and financial infrastructures, creates a complex network of obstacles that reduce the likelihood of such housing projects gaining ground. In conclusion, our research emphasises the role of imaginaries in studying obduracy and thus provides valuable insights into the processes of urban sociotechnical change.

15.6.2023 | Petr Kodenko Kubala, Jan Malý Blažek, Václav Orcígr, Tomáš Hoření Samec, Markéta Káňová, David Tichý, Jana Kubcová | Volume: 10 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 39-49 | 10.13060/23362839.2023.10.1.552

Housing Market in Central European City during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Many aspects of the global economy changed during the Covid-19 pandemic, including the real estate market. This study examines the primary residential property market in Opole during the Covid-19 pandemic. It uses property transaction data from 2018 to 2021 to conduct statistical analyses and independent group tests and also takes into account the real-estate price trend from 2014 to 2020. The study finds that both property prices and preferences relating to the structure and location of housing changed during the pandemic. In the case of Opole, the number of transactions involving residential units in the primary market increased in 2020 compared to previous years. After adjusting the unit price value of residential properties for the trend in the pre-pandemic period, the study finds that there was also an increase in property transaction prices. The study confirms three important facts relating to phenomena that are occurring globally in cities today. First, local communities are more diverse in terms of the economic heterogeneity of real estate buyers. Second, unlike big urban areas, small cities may be more resistant to the process of citizens migrating to suburban areas, thereby limiting the negative phenomenon of urban sprawl. Third, the housing real estate market in small cities is considered a reliable form of investment of assets, as real estate prices increased during the Covid-19 pandemic.

14.6.2023 | Jan K. Kazak, Natalia A. Kłysz, Joanna A. Kamińska | Volume: 10 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 27-38 | 10.13060/23362839.2023.10.1.551

Applying the AD-AS Model to the Housing Market of Post-Socialist Economies

We propose applying the standard aggregate demand and aggregate supply model (AD-AS) to the housing market. It is a very simple and intuitive tool that can help shed light on the major forces at play in the market and that can supplement the use of the general equilibrium and dynamic stochastic equilibrium models (DSGE). The latter models are very sophisticated and aim to cover many aspects of the economy, but they require a significant number of long time series to estimate the model parameters. However, in many countries, such as post-socialist countries, the time series are short. Those models moreover cover only real house prices, but in certain situations we should consider real and nominal prices at the same time.

31.3.2023 | Jacek Łaszek, Krzysztof Olszewski | Volume: 10 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 14-26 | 10.13060/23362839.2023.10.1.550

Vertical Integration & Performance in Residential Real Estate

Vertical integration is a growth strategy whereby a firm engages in multiple stages of the value chain. Although the benefits of vertical integration are well documented, few studies have examined its relevance in real estate. In response to this lack of research, this paper explores tenant perceptions of property managers’ vertical integration and effectiveness. The results of this international study show the benefits of vertical integration extend to residential real estate, such that renters are more trusting, loyal, committed, and desirable when they perceive their property manager as vertically integrated. This paper also uncovers a concering finding that many tenants are living in unaffordable rental accomodations, requiring further research. This study contributes to a large body of vertical integration literature and extends the empirical examinations to real estate and property management.

30.3.2023 | Grant Alexander Wilson, Jason Jogia, Gabriel Millard | Volume: 10 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 1-13 | 10.13060/23362839.2023.10.1.549