Wealthscapes: The spatial polarization of housing markets and divided access to housing wealth accumulation
with Rowan Arundel (University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands)
Hybrid event
Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER)
Maison des Sciences Humaines
11, Porte des Sciences
L-4366 Esch-sur-Alzette / Belval
Salle de conférence (1st floor)
11:00 am
12:30 pm
For inquiries:


Residential real estate represents by far the largest store of wealth globally and is fundamental in structuring societal inequalities. The central role of housing wealth in driving inequality, however, is relatively neglected. Housing markets have transformed through ongoing integration with global capital, financialization and household wealth strategies. Resulting intensified capital flows into property, however, appear increasingly spatially uneven. This is entangled in dynamics of uneven development, demographic shifts, segregation and gentrification. Together, these imply a spatial polarization of housing markets across multiple scales, where specific submarkets – across regions, cities, or neighbourhoods – see growing shares of asset accumulation. Concurrently, there is evidence of increasingly divided access to housing. Socio-economic position and, increasingly, parental resources appear essential. Where spatial polarization in asset-returns combine with divided access, this implies a powerful, yet poorly-understood, mechanism of rising inequality. My recently launched VENI project examines these dynamics across The Netherlands, the UK and Spain. In this talk I will situate this research within my wider investigations of growing housing inequalities across advanced economies and present key preliminary results on understanding the amplifying role of spatial divisions in housing markets.


Rowan Arundel is Assistant Professor in Geographic Information Science (GIS) in the Department of Geography, Planning and International Development at the University of Amsterdam. Within the research institute AISSR, he is a member of the research group Political and Economic Geographies. He is also the director of the GIS Lab, a state-of-the-art centre for Geographical Information Systems expertise and resources for research and education in the social sciences, embedded within the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Science.

His interests cover many areas of urban geography, planning and housing studies with a focus on dynamics of housing inequalities and interactions between housing, labour and welfare, as well as more broadly spatial analysis and macro and micro quantitative methods.

He is the recipient of an NWO Veni fellowship from 2021-2025 for his project WEALTHSCAPES: the spatial inequality of housing wealth accumulation. Looking at the Netherlands, UK and Spain - varying across salient housing, labour, and policy contexts – the project confronts the crucial role of both housing market spatial polarization and divided housing access in driving growing wealth inequalities. The research will combine detailed spatial and quantitative analyses of cadastral, full-population registers, census and national datasets to map, sequence and explain dynamics of unequal housing wealth accumulation.

Supported by the Luxembourg National Research Fund (RESCOM/2021/16537536)

Also in this category ...