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 research output to strengthen a planned funding proposal. A first peer-reviewed study on housing policy preferences in Germany has been published, and a book chapter on housing and voting in the 2021 German Bundestag election is forthcoming. A longitudinal study on the effects of local housing markets on voting behavior in Germany draws on an analysis of geo-referenced restricted-access data. Lastly, building upon a pilot study of German legislators’ housing policy supply on Twitter, we have applied a newly developed text-based estimation framework for legislator-level salience and position scores to a second case: French legislators’ Twitter communication.

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