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The Financialisation of the Housing Market

An International Comparison

An LSE London research project, funded by The Knowledge Centre for Housing Economics

Lead researchers: Prof. Christine Whitehead (LSE), Kath Scanlon (LSE), Prof. Michael Voigtländer (German Economic Institute).

Timetable: Projected completion late 2022


From London to Vancouver, Sydney to Lisbon, declining local affordability and reduced access to housing are being blamed on financialisation—the claim is that homes are increasingly treated as financial assets rather than as places to live.   UN housing experts have described financialisation of the housing market as a threat to quality of life and democratic decision-making across the world. What is the evidence for this? Is financialisation the only or major cause of increases in house prices and rents, or might it rather be an outcome of these factors?

Our case studies

Since February 2021 we have been investigating the financialisation of the housing market in twelve cities across the globe (Auckland, Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Dublin, Lisbon, London, Miami, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, Vancouver).

This project, funded by Copenhagen’s Knowledge Centre for Housing Economics, involves experts in housing economics and policy from each city.  They represent a range of academic disciplines including sociology, economics and finance.

(Prof Christine Whitehead – London, Curt Liliegreen – Copenhagen, and  Prof. Peter Englund – Stockholm)

Our main research questions

We are currently exploring:

  1. the various understandings of what is meant by financialisation;
  2. the role of international and institutional finance in the different housing markets;
  3. the impacts of deregulation of rents and finance;
  4. how cities have responded to the challenges; and how the fundamental issues might be addressed.

This collaborative research project will continue until mid 2022, with a report expected later that year.

Contact us

If you have any questions please contact us at