The Self-Playing Piano. Calculations & Capital creating the Swedish housing crises.

Adriana de La Peña Espinosa New Publication housing, Sweden

Det självspelande pianot – Kalkylerna och kapitalet som skapar Sveriges bostadskris, written by IUR researcher, Sig Westerdahl, will launch on November 1st.

The self-playing piano is a basic pedagogical course in Swedish housing policy and should be read by all of us.

Since the state abolished the subsidies in the early 1990s, the lack of housing in Sweden has increased dramatically. Housing production is far from meeting the demands, and housing is far too expensive. Despite this, politicians and builders claim the market will solve the housing shortage.

In “The Self-Playing Piano,” Stig Westerdahl, professor in Business Administration at Malmö University, describes who the actors and practices integrate the housing market.

The author takes the reader on a journey through time and space, from the concept of value as a starting point, all the way to today’s Sweden, where a special law, Allbolagen, directs public housing companies, and accounting regulations run the housing policies. The players’ calculation methods favor the production of expensive homes but make more affordable homes almost impossible to build. On the other hand, venture capital companies can, with a combination of renovations and accounting rules, quickly increase the value of the Million Program areas they buy. This results in large share gains that enable the purchase of additional areas. It’s the mechanics of the self-playing piano.

The author exposes and analyzes the mechanism behind the housing market, where simple calculations from business administration are applied to complex and socially important investments in urban and rural development, which has fundamentally changed the conditions for Swedish housing provision and housing policies.

If you want to order the book, you can do it from November 1st in Dokument Press.