Everyone needs a home, and even more during a pandemic.
High demand for rental flats across European cities has contributed to make housing a very attractive investment. At at time when many people can’t find an affordable and decent flat to live, reports of a huge increase in investment flows into housing across Europe go hand in hand with stories of abusive practices by ‘corporate landlords’, companies that buy and rent out housing for profit.
Where is all that money coming from? Who are the companies and investors buying so much housing across Europe? How does this phenomenon affect people’s lives and homes in European cities?
During a period of more than seven months, a team of over 25 investigative and data journalists and visualisations experts from 16 European countries, have been working on the cross-border collaborative project Cities for Rent: Investigating Corporate Landlords Across Europe.
We wanted to find the data and visualise these developments, and document their effects on our cities and in people’s lives. We found that since the financial crisis international investment funds and housing corporations have been buying up homes across European cities. And there are different critical issues connected to this.
Read more about our investigation and find the stories published by the media partners below.
Flats are worth their weight in gold in Switzerland's largest city. That's why investors are buying more and more of them. Where are these properties located? And what do their new landlords do with them? Our research provides the first insight into this non-transparent ownership structure.
Months of research were needed to reveal which companies own 20,000 apartments in Zurich. But that's only a small part of the portfolio owned by banks, insurance companies and other firms. Who owns the rest? And are there any unknown real estate giants? We want to solve this riddle with your help. Join 'UncoverZurich' and become part of our research in 3 steps.
Companies and investment funds, such as Akelius and Blackstone, are taking over the residential market in European cities. Investment in rental flats has grown by 700% in the last decade. But that has not been good news for tenants. Rents have risen more than families' incomes and evictions have multiplied. In Lisbon, where the phenomenon is still small, there is a significant lack of data on the rental universe.