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.

Publications

Planned, launched and coordinated by
Arena for Journalism in Europe

Data visualisation by the
Tagesspiegel Innovation Lab

This investigation was supported by an IJ4EU grant

Mapping partner