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Renovations as an investment strategy: circumscribing the right to housing in Sweden
Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9263-0365
2021 (English)In: Housing Studies, ISSN 0267-3037, E-ISSN 1466-1810, p. 1-22Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

There is an emergent field of writings on financialized landlords’ undertaking of apartment renovations as an investment strategy and its effect on housing inequalities. Seldom do these studies contextualize these tendencies within countries’ specific housing policy traditions. Therefore, through a qualitative case study in a neighbourhood in Sweden, this paper aims to uncover how private landlords undertake renovations as an investment strategy and its effect on tenants and, in turn, on the hybrid character of a universal housing system. It finds that renovations enable landlords to extract value from the built environment while tenants experience rising rents, a lack of information, poor property maintenance, and apprehension. Hence, I argue that renovations represent an investment strategy that serves to undermine the traditional social right to housing within a universal housing policy context. The paper thus furthers knowledge on how the situatedness of financialization tendencies entails their translation through and transformation of housing systems. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Informa UK Limited , 2021. p. 1-22
Keywords [en]
Renovations, investment strategy, financialization, right to housing, private rental housing, Sweden
Keywords [sv]
rätten till bostad, finansialisering, privat hyresrätt, renovering, Malmö, Herrgården, hyresmarknad
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-57833DOI: 10.1080/02673037.2021.1982872ISI: 000703438000001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85116375601OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-57833DiVA, id: diva2:1731227
Available from: 2023-01-26 Created: 2023-01-26 Last updated: 2023-07-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The state of tenancy: rental housing and municipal statecraft in Malmö, Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The state of tenancy: rental housing and municipal statecraft in Malmö, Sweden
2022 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Rental housing tenants in Sweden and Europe are increasingly seeing their homes subsumed to market pressures. This thesis provides empirical and conceptual insights into the processes by which market and financial practices and logics shape the housing sector, through a critical analysis of rental housing in Malmö, Sweden. The aim of the thesis is to investigate the role of rental housing within the context of municipal governance and, in turn, to explore how the relationship between rental housing and municipal governance affects residents. Empirically, the thesis focuses on developments in and around the area of Rosengård. The methods used include an interpretive analysis of official documents and secondary statistics, interviews, focus group meetings, participant observations, photos, and analysis of register data. The thesis comprises four papers and a comprehensive summary (the “kappa”).

Inspired by the regulation approach to political economy, the thesis engages with theoretical literatures on trajectories of rental housing market change, the financialization of rental housing, and local-state restructuring. In demonstrating how tenants and residents are affected by municipalities’ governance of rental markets, the thesis offers fresh perspectives on the nature of contemporary Swedish municipal “statecraft”.

The thesis finds that mounting market pressures from the 1980s initially resulted in a relocation of Malmö’s public housing stock to more attractive urban areas, and greater financial independence for the municipal housing company (MKB). In the process, the municipality used its ownership of public housing to support rebranding of the city following deindustrialization. However, more recently, the municipality has integrated management of MKB’s finances into the governance of municipal finances more broadly. The thesis argues that recent examples of public housing privatization and urban renewal have seen the municipal housing stock come to function as a quasi-financial asset, one bearing local urban development-risk and signaling municipal economic flexibility to credit rating analysts. It also argues that residential property investors’ local use of renovations as an investment strategy strengthens their financial position while leading to declining affordability for tenants. Residents experience increasing rent levels, worry, and a lack of influence within – and disclosure of information about – processes of renovation and privatization. Meanwhile, the thesis finds that the spatial distribution of public and private rental housing has changed as a result of municipal governance initiatives to create attractive new urban spaces, with rental tenants being increasingly marginalized. 

In sum, the thesis concludes that market and financial practices and logics are progressively undermining Sweden’s renowned universal housing system, while reinforcing inequality.

Abstract [sv]

Den här avhandlingen analyserar hyresmarknaden i Rosengård och Malmö. Den visar hur lägenhetsrenoveringar i Herrgården leder till högre hyror. Studien finner också att försäljning av kommunens bostäder och stadsutveckling i Törnrosen och Örtagården motiveras av att kommunen anser att ”marknaden” behöver vitaliseras där. Avhandlingen visar hur hyresgäster upplever oro och brist på information i samband med renovering, privatisering och stadsförnyelse. Sammantaget menar avhandlingen att marknadslogiker har försvagat Sveriges bostadssystem, vilket har lett till en ökad ojämlikhet.

Abstract [so]

Qoraalkan qalin-jabinta ah ayaa lagu falanqeynayaa guryaha ku yaal Malmö, Sweden. Qoraalku wuxuu diiradda saarayaa horumarka Rosengård iyo nawaaxigeeda. Waxay muujineysaa sida dayactirka guryaha ee Herrgården uu u horseedayo kiro badan iyo sida iibinta guryaha degmada iyo horumarinta magaalooyinka ee Törnrosen iyo Örtagården ay sabab u tahay xaqiiqda ah in "suuqa" uu u baahan yahay in dib loo soo nooleeyo. Qoraalku waxa kale oo uu muujinayaa sida ay kiraystayaashu u dareemaan walaac iyo xog la'aan la xidhiidha dib-u-dayactirka, iibinta guryaha dawladda hoose iyo dib-u-cusboonaysiinta magaalada.

Abstract [ku]

Ev tez xaniyên kirê li Malmö, li Swêdê, analîz dike. Ew balê dikişîne ser geşedanên li nav Rosengård û derdora wê. Ew destnîşan dike ku çawa nûvekirina apartmanan li Herrgården ji hêla xwediyên taybet ve dibe sedema kirêyên bilind, û çawa firotina xaniyên şaredariyê û nûkirina bajarî li Törnrosen û Örtagården ji ber hewcedariya têgihîştinek ji bo zindîkirina bazarê tê motîve kirin. Tez her weha destnîşan dike ka kirêdar çawa di dema nûvekirina apartmanan, firotina xaniyên şaredariyê, û nûkirina bajarî de bi fikar û nebûna agahdarî re rû bi rû dimînin. Bi kurtî, tez encam dide ku pratîk û mantiqên bazar û darayî her ku diçe pergala xanî ya Swêdê xera dike û di heman demê de newekheviyê xurt dike.

Abstract [tr]

Bu tez İsveç’in Malmö kentindeki konut piyasasını ve durumunu inceliyor. Rosengård bölgesindeki ve çevresindeki gelişmelere odaklanmaktadır. Rosengård’in Herrgården mahallesindeki apartman tadilatlarının nasıl daha yüksek kiralara yol açtığını ve Törnrosen ve Örtagården'deki belediye konutları satışlarının ve kentsel yenilemenin, nasıl bir piyasa canlandırma fikri tarafından motive edildiğini gösteriyor. Tez ayrıca apartman tadilatları, belediye konutlarının satışı ve kentsel dönüşüm sırasında kiracıların nasıl endişe ve bilgi eksikliği yaşadığını göstermektedir.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University, 2022. p. 142
Series
Meddelanden från Kulturgeografiska institutionen vid Stockholms universitet, ISSN 0585-3508 ; 162
Keywords
rental housing, public housing, private rental housing, inequality, financialization, urban governance, local state, state theory, renovations, renovictions, privatization, urban planning, housing politics, regulation approach, Rosengård, Malmö, allmännyttan, privat hyresrätt, stadsplanering, nyliberalism, finansialisering, kommun, renovering, privatisering, bostadspolitik, Herrgården, Rosengård, Malmö
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
Research subject
Urban studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-57836 (URN)978-91-7911-768-9 (ISBN)978-91-7911-769-6 (ISBN)
Available from: 2023-01-26 Created: 2023-01-26 Last updated: 2023-02-07Bibliographically approved

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