Resilience and housing markets: Who is it really for?

Ten years after the Global Financial Crisis, this research examines how resilience theory and rhetoric relating to the economy and housing markets has been translated into policy and practice. The methodology involves a case study of a city (Auckland) with a nationally dominant housing market and high unaffordability. Via secondary literature and a series of interviews we analyse questions connected to resilience from what, how, by whom, and discuss the implications and limits of the approach. The research demonstrates that resilience policies have focused on providing institutional stability to shock, rather than adaptation or transformation to a state that is less exposed to the systemic risks associated with flows of global capital, debt, and speculative activity. This is related to how the whole concept is vaguely defined. In the absence of guidance, institutions reinterpret resilience in a way that underpins existing market and regulatory logics, such as by increasing capital reserves or lending ratios. As a consequence, the dominant political economy, selected institutions, and to an extent, existing homeowners and speculative investors are privileged in resilience policy. By bringing these selectivities and limits to light we argue for a shift in focus away from an institutional frame to one with a deeper understanding of both the balance of an economy and the wider forces that create and reproduce housing markets.

You can access the article OPEN ACCESS here: