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Institutional Formation in Tumultuous Times: Reforming English Social Housing Regulation Post-Grenfell

English social housing regulation theoretically exists to promote the social purpose of the sector, yet the success of regulation against this objective has been questioned amidst concerns with the quality of service provided by landlords. Following the Grenfell Tower fire, the government initiated a reform process to reverse a policy of regulatory passivity on consumer standards. This paper conceives of regulatory reform as a case of institutional formation; a dynamic process that shapes conduct via rules, practices and narratives. It fills an empirical gap on how regulatory practice has responded to an ambiguous institutional environment where the governmental narrative was committed to improving standards, but formal legislation lagged. Quantitative text analysis demonstrates that the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) has re-emphasised consumer standards post-Grenfell. But the process of institutional formation has been punctuated by social, political and economic crises, and the power of the regulator to enforce improved standards has been limited by legislative delays.

27.11.2023 | Michael Marshall | Volume: 10 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 58-69 | 10.13060/23362839.2023.10.2.559

Testing Housing Price Drivers in Santiago de Chile: A Hedonic Price Approach

Hedonic modelling is an empirical analysis technique that is widely used to review the housing market and unpack the main determinants of price. A correct determination of housing price drivers allows a weighted prediction of the value of each dwelling for sale or rent. This paper reviews the fundamental determinants of housing prices that have been published in the literature to see which ones have a better predictive fit for the case of the housing market in the city of Santiago, Chile. From a record of 456,000 property transactions, a dataset composed of 11 explanatory variables is elaborated. Through a semi-logarithmic regression, 4 variables that contribute to explaining the formation of housing prices in Santiago, Chile, are identified. The results indicate that the socioeconomic characterisation of urban areas where housing is traded, the price of copper on the London Metal Exchange, the mortgage interest rate, the age of residential buildings are the main drivers for the main drivers of prices in Santiago. Given the crisis of access to housing in Chile, the article provides relevant information for decision-makers in housing policy.

26.10.2023 | Francisco Vergara-Perucich | Volume: 10 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 44-57 | 10.13060/23362839.2023.10.2.558

Reframing Social Tectonics with the Sociology of Everyday Life: Insights from the Public Spaces of a Mixed Housing Neighbourhood

Social mix policies aim to integrate residents living in diverse forms of housing. While numerous studies have showcased the limitations of social mix in achieving this objective, explanations for this tendency remain incomplete. Accordingly, this qualitative case study adopts insights from the sociology of everyday life and interaction ritual theory to elaborate on academic understandings of (non)-interaction between disparate groups in mixed housing communities. It draws primarily from observational fieldwork and semi-structured interview data gathered in the public spaces of a transitioning mid-sized city in Ontario, Canada. The findings report how everyday encounters among and between the urban poor and wealthier residents (re)produce patterns of group solidarity and conflict. The continued application of micro-sociological perspectives to housing mix research can chronicle and perhaps mend the gaps between government housing policy objectives and the experiences of residents living within relevant legislative jurisdictions.

19.10.2023 | Timothy G. Wykes | Volume: 10 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 29-43 | 10.13060/23362839.2023.10.2.557

The Role of Housing Costs in Central Banks’ Inflation Targeting Regimes: The Cases of the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Bank of England

Since the 1990s it has become common for central banks to be charged with using interest rates to meet consumer price inflation (CPI) targets. This article examines the cases of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and the Bank of England (BoE) and finds that whereas the RBA’s CPI target includes a housing cost element, the BoE’s does not. Moreover, it finds that contrasting treatments of housing costs produce different results, depending on whether the index includes mortgage interest as a housing cost. Whilst central banks dislike CPIs that include an element of mortgage interest because of the apparently perverse outcome of increasing interest rates, they also lack credibility by excluding such an important element of the cost of living. Credibility demands that the 30-year consensus on inflation targeting by monetary policy be replaced by a broader set of tools – including fiscal policy – to control inflation.

17.10.2023 | Mark Stephens | Volume: 10 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 15-28 | 10.13060/23362839.2023.10.2.556

The Role of Neighbourly Relations and Cooperation in Residents’ Willingness to Renovate Multi-Family Buildings in Croatia

The inadequate legislation on multi-family housing management in Central and Eastern European post-socialist countries calls for the exploration of additional determinants of building renovation on the level of the community of residents in a building. To this end, we present here an analytical framework called the mediated-Renovation Decision (m-RD) model for simultaneously testing the direct and indirect effects that neighbourly relations, cooperation of the co-owners’ representative with the co-owners, and acceptance of the building co-ownership concept have on co-owners’ willingness to invest in building renovation. The model is based on assessments made by 325 co-owners’ representatives from multi-family buildings in Croatia. The results show that the quality of neighbourly relations affects the co-owner’s willingness to renovate not directly, but indirectly through the level of their acceptance of the building co-ownership concept. The other indirect effect of neighbourly relations – through the level of the representative’s cooperation with co-owners – was not significant. The demonstrated analytical value of the m-RD model advocates for more complex studies of the role of neighbourly relations in collective decision-making and actions in the housing domain.

16.10.2023 | Anamaria Klasiæ, Ratko Ðokiæ | Volume: 10 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 1-14 | 10.13060/23362839.2023.10.2.555

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 Hoøení Samec, Markéta Káòová, 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. K³ysz, Joanna A. Kamiñska | 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 £aszek, 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