New working paper out: Narrating Homeownership

Adriana de La Peña Espinosa New Publication, Uncategorized housing, Sweden

A new working paper titled Narrating Homeownership : Media Discourse and Lived Experiences of Mortgaged Homeownership in Sweden ( has been published in the Studies in housing and welfare Working Paper Series.

The paper was written by Urban Studies students Neil Dunne, Greta Cattabriga, and Nathan O’Néill as the main output of a research internship at IUR in the project Financialisation of everyday life. Intersectional perspectives on housing and labor precarity, led by Chiara Valli. 


In the housing literature, Sweden is often portrayed as a so-called “cost-rental” society associated with tenure neutrality, where rental housing should be an attractive alternative – and not just a step in the way – to homeownership. A large and well-developed rental sector has traditionally made it possible for young adults to leave their family home at a relatively young age. However, this logic has been clearly disrupted as rental housing has become harder to access, and homeownership has been favoured by incremental ideological political shifts and fiscal policy encouraging homeownership. As more households – also young ones – are steered into homeownership, Sweden has become one of the most mortgage-indebted nations in the OECD.  This working paper on homeownership and mortgagization takes on the question of mortgaged indebtedness in discourse and practice.