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Real Property, Speculation and Housing Inequality. Bruges 1550-1670

Boekbijdrage - Hoofdstuk

Literature on wealth inequality attributes a significant role to housing, but how exactly demand and supply on the housing market itself triggered inequality is less clear. Bruges is an interesting case in which to study these phenomena since economic change and high inflation undermined the purchasing power of the working classes and forced them to switch from owned to rented houses. Here, income inequality caused housing inequality. When the severe food crisis around 1580 was over, a massive emigration in 1585 caused house prices to drop, and wages doubled around 1600, one would expect that this would have countered the housing crisis and that lower social groups would eventually acquire property again. This was not the case because the elites were already massively investing in housing at that time. Their financial dealings and speculation reshuffled the housing market and property patterns, and drove house prices beyond the reach of workers’ households. In this period, it was the dynamics on the real property market itself that induced higher housing inequality.
Boek: Inequality and the City in the Low Countries (1200-2020)
Series: Studies in European Urban History (1200-1800)
Pagina's: 251-268
Jaar van publicatie:2020
Trefwoorden:Inequality, Real Estate, Housing, Bruges, Early Modern Period
  • ORCID: /0000-0002-6846-8561/work/82915712