Housing as Social Right or Means to Wealth? The Politics of Property Booms in Australia and Denmark

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 Should housing be considered a social right or a means to wealth? How do property booms change the broader population's political perceptions of residential housing as a commodified asset? To investigate how residential property markets matter for change in the world economy, this paper compares changes to taxation and housing finance regimes in a liberal market for residential property, Australia, and a corporatist market, Denmark. During the last decade, government regulatory changes to taxation and housing finance systems in Australia and Denmark facilitated residential property booms. These reforms, particularly those following financial deregulation, introduced new mortgage instruments and changed economic incentives for selecting residential property as an investment vehicle. The reforms may also be associated with a more general process of transforming taxation and housing finance regimes to favour a conception of housing as a means to wealth rather than as a social right. Political turns to the right in both Australia and Denmark during the creation of their respective property booms aided the framing of residential property as a means to increasing wealth rather than as a social right. This paper traces how changes in taxation and housing finance regulations for residential property were framed within political debates. The paper concludes bv reflecting on the ‘neo-liberalisation' or ‘commodification' of residential property markets in Australia and Denmark, as well as speculating on future developments.
Original languageEnglish
JournalComparative European Politics
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)305-324
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2008

ID: 6183597