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Home | Events Archive | Urban Housing Affordability, Quality and Inequality over the Very Long Run

Urban Housing Affordability, Quality and Inequality over the Very Long Run

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  • Date and time

    February 11, 2021
    14:00 - 15:00

If you are interested in joining the seminar, please send an email to Daniel Haerle or Sacha den Nijs.

Joint work with Piet Eichholtz en Thies Lindenthal.

How have urban housing affordability, quality and in-equality evolved over the very long run? This paper studies urban housing markets in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Bruges, Brussels, Ghent, London, and Paris, from 1500 to the present. Based on a newly-constructed database of housing rent, housing quality and income information, we reconstruct the trajectories of housing affordability, quality and inequality in the past 500 years. Before 1900, markets were unregulated and rent prices and wages rose in tandem when cities grew, while housing quality and inequality increased. After 1900, housing affordability started improving substantially, and we show that short-term improvements in this period were partially attributable to rent controls. Most of the surge in housing expenditure that did occur over time is due to increasing housing quality rather than rising rent.