Towards a World of Home-Owners? Housing Policies and Tenure, France and Abroad

Bernard Vorms Économiste spécialiste de l’immobilier ; président, Conseil national de la transaction et de la gestion immobilières (CNTGI) ; ancien directeur général, Agence nationale pour l’information sur le logement (ANIL). Contact : bernard.vorms@gmail.com.


Since the seventies, most countries have implemented policies fostering homeownership. The global financial crisis addresses the relevance of such policies. Indeed, they reduce the size of the private rental sector and, in progressively refocusing the social housing sector, limit the latter towards those who cannot afford a dwelling in the market. Households particularly suffered from the crisis in countries combining the following factors: a high rate of home owners, a high and fast increasing level of mortgages, a credit supply process that shelters lenders vis-à-vis the risk of credit defaults, and a weak consumer’s and borrower’s protection. The crisis is a result of the excesses of finance, rather than a matter of tenure. However, policies too exclusively based on home ownership speed up the rise of housing prices, deepen wealth inequalities and cannot fit the needs in high-cost markets, namely those of metropolitan areas, and in certain populations especially the poor, the young and the people relocating frequently.


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