The Political Economy of Housing Financialization


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The US subprime mortgage crisis, by nearly causing the collapse of the global financial system during the 2007-08 financial crisis, clearly revealed that household debt management is critical to the stability of the international economy. The configuration of mortgage finance systems of European economies, from the UK to Sweden to Spain, have profound effects on national macroeconomic and political outcomes. In this book, Gregory Fuller reveals how national housing systems diverge in terms of their commodification and financialization: mortgages are far more common in some systems than others; some encourage families to treat housing as a tradeable asset while others do not; and certain states provide extensive social housing programmes while others offer virtually none. These differences are shown to have an impact on households’ economic precarity, macroeconomic volatility, and ultimately on their political preferences. Drawing on these comparisons, Fuller offers a number of policy suggestions intended to weaken the links between housing, economic instability, and inequality.


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