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Swedish welfare state and housing markets: under economic and political pressure
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for Housing and Urban Research.
2014 (English)In: Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, ISSN 1566-4910, E-ISSN 1573-7772, Vol. 29, no 2, 237-254 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Economic and financial crises are often connected to crises in the housing market. Some housing systems are, however, more sensitive than others. Traditionally, Sweden’s system aimed to protect households from such volatility, but changes in the welfare state model and increased mortgage indebtedness suggest that Sweden’s housing market might have become more exposed to macro pressures. The starting point for this article is an understanding of the Swedish welfare state model in which housing was traditionally a core value and where the link between income and housing outcome has been weakened. Deregulation and liberalization have fundamentally changed the special features on the Swedish housing market. In particular, the rental sector is decreasing in favor of increased ownership and greater speculation. In this article, we aim to give a picture of the grand restructuring of the Swedish housing sector including its implications for the link between income poverty and housing poverty and an understanding of the contradictory reaction of the welfare state to the global financial crisis (GFC). Our results show that affordability is a problem and that the proportion of households at risk of poverty has been increasing when taking housing costs into consideration. However, a combination of the lessons learned in the 1990s crisis and resultant increases in regulation together with a stronger and more immediate recovery than might have been expected meant that Sweden and its housing system came out of the GFC fundamentally intact. However, there must be concerns that future crises will not be so readily addressed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 29, no 2, 237-254 p.
National Category
Social Sciences Human Geography Social and Economic Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-213324DOI: 10.1007/s10901-013-9391-0ISI: 000340621100004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-213324DiVA: diva2:681707
Available from: 2013-12-20 Created: 2013-12-20 Last updated: 2014-09-22Bibliographically approved

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Holmqvist, Emma
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