Examining spatial patterns in the pace of housing commodification

Hal Pawson, Craig Watkins

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    1 Citation (Scopus)


    The varying spatial and socio-economic impact of large-scale privatisation of the British housing system since 1980 is well documented. However, the effects of this policy extend beyond the initial privatisation of ownership. By 1995 over a fifth of the 300,000 public sector homes sold to sitting tenants in Scotland had been resold on the open market. In this paper, we show that the pace of commodification varies significantly between areas, and examine the factors that underlie this pattern. Our results suggest that significant influences include the characteristics of the initial purchasers, the nature of local housing markets and the vitality of the local economy, as well as the time series profile of initial sales. The process of commodification has the potential to make a major impact on the socio-economic character of former public sector estates, changes set in train by the slow-burning fuse of privatisation. It may also result in the restructuring of local housing markets. It is clear that the full effect of these changes will be felt in some areas before others.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)416-430
    Number of pages15
    JournalTijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1998


    • Housing policy
    • Housing privatisation commodification
    • Scotland
    • Survey data


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