The differential impact of real estate financialization on the political economies of Germany and France
Following the Global Recession of 2007-2008, the financialization of real estate has become a well studied research topic in advanced, capitalist societies and emerging economies. Yet, since financialization is a variegated and path-dependent process, local and national varieties between real estate financialization persist. This research project focuses on the financialization of real estate in Germany and France, two Continental European political economies that are traditionally known for their relatively sluggish and unsophisticated property and financial markets. Although this research project concludes that an unprecedented growth of household debt and mortgage securitization did not really occur in these Continental European countries, it argues that processes of financialization are still observable in Germany and France. Making an empirical and cross-sectoral analysis on the residential and commercial markets of both countries, this research shows that the rise of listed real estate can be seen as a distinctive form of real estate financialization in Continental Europe. Whereas listed funds in Germany operate almost exclusively in the domain of residential real estate, in France REITs have monopolized the commercial real estate sector.