Housing inequalities: The space-time geography of housing policies

Ruth Nelson*, Martijn Warnier, Trivik Verma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Changes in policy over the last thirty years, particularly within advanced economies, have allowed for increased financialization, deregulation and globalisation of housing. What differentiates real-estate from other financial markets is that it possesses a salient socio-spatial geography. Housing inequalities are often framed as an outcome of macro-economic structural changes or as a product of local socio-spatial conditions, but the interactions between the two are less understood. To address this gap, we develop a descriptive methodology to connect the analysis of national housing policy trends in the Netherlands with local socio-spatial trajectories of neighbourhood change using nearly 20 years of historical data across a range of socio-spatial dimensions from the City of Rotterdam. Whilst nationally there has been an increasing policy preference for home ownership associated with a narrative of social upliftment, the spatial-temporal analysis reveals that the wealthiest neighbourhoods have benefitted significantly more from capital gains and increased rates of home ownership over time. Through descriptive analysis, the results highlight the role of divergent neighbourhood characteristics and path dependencies, suggesting that housing policies could benefit from the adoption of a more localised approach. Overall, the study sheds light on housing inequalities by integrating macro socio-economic factors with micro-level neighbourhood conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104727
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Home ownership
  • Housing inequalities
  • Policy
  • Rotterdam
  • Spatial-temporal analysis


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