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Housing tenures in Sweden; from rental to ownership and intermediate tenures

Time: Fri 2023-06-02 10.00

Location: Sahara, Teknikringen 10B, Stockholm

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Language: Swedish

Subject area: Real Estate and Construction Management

Doctoral student: Lisa Bergsten , Fastigheter och byggande

Opponent: Docent Elisabeth Ahlinder, Stockholms universitet

Supervisor: Docent Jenny Paulsson, Fastigheter och byggande; Professor Peter Ekbäck, Fastigheter och byggande; Ph.D. Anna Granath Hansson, Fastigheter och byggande, Nordregio

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QC 230511


The importance of housing tenures for a well-functioning housing market is repeatedly emphasized. Such suggestions include the need for balance between tenures, various tenures, mixed tenures in neighborhoods, et cetera. The development of new types of housing tenures has also been noticed as a tool or vehicle to make the housing market accessible to more people, either through creating more affordable housing or supporting homeownership. Since these tenures often combine attributes from both ownership and rental - and place somewhere in between rental and ownership on a continuum, they are often described as intermediate housing tenures. Intermediate tenures and concepts have been developed in Sweden as more people encounter difficulties accessing the housing market.

As these new tenures and schemes develop, so does the need to increase the understanding of them, for example, in terms of the legal framework, rights, obligations, as well as risk exposure. This thesis examines the content of various tenures (established and new ones) and explores how and why intermediate tenures and concepts have been developed. This thesis includes two appended papers. The first paper is a comparative case study examining the design and content of the primary tenures in four Nordic countries. The second paper is a case study of four intermediate concepts in Sweden. As methods for data collection, document and literature studies were used for both papers, and paper 2 was supplemented with expert interviews with representatives from the concept developers.

The findings imply significant similarities between the tenures in the four Nordic countries based on their design and content. Based on the literature, some attributes for overall tenures, such as ownership and rental, can be pointed out (although major differences still exist between tenure forms). In summary, attributes associated with ownership include far-reaching rights and responsibilities as well as risk-taking. In comparison, these rights are much more restricted for rentals, which do not include risk- taking. This also corresponds with the findings, showing that tenures within ownership have the most far- reaching rights, particularly regarding the right to transfer or let out the housing unit and the value therefrom. Furthermore, the rights are most restricted for rentals, while the tenures between ownership and rental also have bundles of rights in between. The studied intermediate tenures and concepts in Sweden were described to have evolved from the difficulties many faces in accessing the housing market (or the poor housing conditions that prevailed when they were created), like intermediate tenures in countries worldwide. Most of the studied concepts are new and, thus, still in the establishment phase. However, the developers see potential to scale up the concepts. Challenges identified in order to establish and scale up such concepts are to reach out with information to various actors and to achieve a certain degree of recognition, getting access to buildable land, and financial issues. The financial issues both concern the financial ability to initiate this type of project and to consider the current members' interest while scaling up the concepts.

This thesis has contributed to the literature on intermediate housing tenures by providing examples of four cases of intermediate tenures from a Swedish context. This contribution can provide insights into the development of such tenures and concepts as well as some of the challenges the developers have met. These insights can also be a valuable practical contribution for actors, such as municipalities, policymakers, housing developers, and so forth, to understand some of the difficulties developers of new concepts meet.