Books and Reports


Hic Sunt Dracones, "here are dragons," was a legend found on some ancient maps. It served to warn of the dangers of uncharted oceans. In a similar way, large money movements today occur in the shadows, that is, behind the back of public control. The financial sector, from its refuge in tax havens, has quietly taken control of basic needs in order to exploit an increasingly impoverished society. One of these needs is housing. The purpose of this book is not academic. Nor is it intended to merely describe the abuses committed by financial elites in the real estate sector. The purpose is to explain how mutual funds work and how they have managed to dominate the housing market. In reality, the only way to detect the weaknesses of such funds is to know them in the best possible way. As a modern map, here we try to warn about the places where there are indeed "dragons."

The real estate shock in Barcelona | General characteristics of vulture funds and their arrival after the financial crisis

In recent years the housing market in Spain has undergone substantial changes, especially after the financial crisis of 2008. Large global operators, especially vulture funds and property companies, have acquired large volumes of homes and today some of them have become the landlords of thousands of neighbors throughout the country. These companies, moreover, operate in the most absolute opacity: their operation, business network or relationships with national and local actors are largely unknown. This opacity is on purpose, and makes it difficult for social movements to exert pressure, in addition to diluting any type of accountability for the consequences of their activity -which are not minor- before society: evictions, real estate mobbing, expulsion of neighbors. of entire buildings, gentrification etc. This is also the case of Barcelona, ​​a global city of interest to international real estate capital, which seeks to extract income from buildings where thousands of neighbors live, without caring about the social function of housing and the city: to provide a roof and enable a dignified life of her neighbors. The report try to shed some light on this dark question in the case of Barcelona with the aim to increase the traceability of the aforementioned frameworks, as well as to provide civil society and organized neighbors with tools to hold accountable those who attack the right to housing and to the city.

Investment funds: an industry preying on cities and human rights

The report analyzes in depth the structure and operation of investment funds, also known as "vultures", who in recent years have colonized the market real estate of different European cities -among them Barcelona. The large global real estate operators that operate in the housing market in today's cities, especially the vulture funds and property companies, have characteristics of little visibility and traceability, because their operation, business network or relationships are largely unknown. The presentation of this report tries to shed some light on this dark question in the case of Barcelona, ​​with the aim of increasing the traceability of the aforementioned frameworks.

Housing Financialization: The International Landscape

The international housing landscape is increasingly financialized, and this presents an urgent challenge to the realization of the human right to adequate housing. To better understand this phenomenon, this report traces its political and historical development from the Bretton Woods Accord through the Nixon Shock and into the current central bank-dominated environment. It looks at changes to the international mortgage regulatory framework since the Great Financial Crisis of 2008 and the impact on household debt levels. It details the main agents of financialization—such as shadow banking entities, sovereign wealth funds, and pension funds—and the various investment strategies they deploy: core, value-add and opportunistic. Finally, it analyzes how these international factors shape Canadian housing policy and how they impact the right to adequate housing, with a particular focus on the growing role of real estate investment trusts, or REITs.

The Shift Directives (Co-author)

The housing crisis is one of the most pressing challenges of our time. The cost of renting or buying a home has far outpaced wage growth in countries around the world, a pattern that has only intensified with the pandemic. It’s driving inequality and making cities unaffordable for the people who make them thrive. The causes of this global crisis are many, but the financialization of the residential real estate market plays a huge role. Within the current model, investors use homes to make as much money as possible while governments are often passive or even skew the market rules to favor the interests of big investors. But housing should not be treated as just another tool for speculation; it’s a basic human right and an essential element of everyone’s life. The Shift Directives are the first-ever comprehensive framework providing governments and investors with guidance to effectively address the financialization of housing in accordance with human rights law.

The shock caused by the new housing system

Article "The shock caused by the new housing system" published as part of the book "Dossier: Right to housing"