Political Reactions to Local Housing Market Dynamics

Research question/goal: 

This project investigates the political repercussions of local housing market dynamics. Recent years have seen rapid, geographically concentrated changes in housing markets. House prices have skyrocketed in many cities and metropolitan areas. These developments have had major effects not only for house owners and on the macro-level distribution of asset wealth but also for renters, intensifying their social and economic risks. Despite the increasing politicisation of these developments and the booming interest in spatial inequalities in political science, we still know surprisingly little about the repercussions of housing market dynamics on voters’ policy preferences, parties’ policy strategies, and electoral outcomes. This research project thus aims to further our understanding of political reactions to housing market dynamics. Combining insights from original surveys in two European countries – Germany and the UK – with administrative data and market statistics on housing markets and information on parties’ policy supply at the local level, it analyses cross-national, geographical, and socio-structural heterogeneity in the political effects of housing markets. Standardised questions and innovative survey experiments are used to gauge the preferences of voters for and the salience they attribute to housing and rent policies. Analysing party policy supply at the local level, the project aims to explain how parties respond to the increasing salience of housing and rent policies and how they strategically react to geographical heterogeneity in voter preferences. Linking these original data collection efforts to geographically fine-grained administrative data and market statistics allows for a comprehensive analysis of the relationship between policy demand and party preferences under varying local contexts. Moreover, it enables a comparison of the political effects of housing market dynamics across localities, socio-structural groups, and countries.

Current stage: 

The project has progressed in the production of initial research output to substantiate the funding proposal. A first peer-reviewed study on housing policy preferences in Germany has been published. Another study, which is based on an analysis of georeferenced restricted access data and investigates the effects of local housing markets on voting behaviour in Germany, has been finalised. Furthermore, we have developed a novel text-based estimation framework for legislator-level salience and position scores and applied it to a pilot study of German legislators’ housing policy supply on Twitter. This study has been presented at multiple conferences and is currently being finalised for submission.

Fact sheet

2020 to 2024
in preparation
Data Sources: 
Survey data, GIS data, administrative and market statistics, text and social media data
Geographic Space: 
Germany, United Kingdom