The financialisation of housing and the rise of the investor-activist

Nicole Cook*, Kristian Ruming

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The financialisation of housing is seen to undermine tenants’ rights, affordable housing and planning controls in order to make housing and homes more amenable to profit extraction. However, the extent to which owner-occupiers themselves seek to influence urban development and planning processes to protect their housing assets has been less well-considered. Through an online survey of 1122 owner-occupiers in Australia, this article redresses this gap. By identifying the financial values participants attach to their home, and their inclinations to join resident action groups, we reveal that those with the strongest investment values are also most inclined to join resident action groups. Expanding conceptualisations of investors beyond institutional investors, the article reveals the agency of financialised owner-occupiers who, as investor-activists, seek to influence planning processes to secure the profitability of their own housing assets. The article thus reconceptualises resident action as a financial strategy to protect long- and short-term housing investments and, in doing so, charts the urban implications of financialised home ownership and investor subjectivities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2023-2039
Number of pages17
JournalUrban Studies
Issue number10
Early online date15 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Australia
  • densification
  • financialisation
  • investor-subject
  • opposition
  • owner-occupation


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