Commodifying Lisbon: A study on the spatial concentration of short-term rentals

Iago Lestegás, João Seixas, Rubén Camilo Lois-González

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Abstract

This article explores the relationship between the spatial concentration of short-term rentals in Lisbon's historic center and the phenomena of uneven development and tourism gentrification. By providing quantitative and qualitative evidence of the uneven geographic distribution of tourist apartments within the municipality of Lisbon, it contributes to the study of the new processes of neoliberal urbanization in the crisis-ridden countries of Southern Europe. It argues that the great share of whole-home rentals and the expansion of the short-term rental market over the housing stock are symptoms of the commodification of housing in the neoliberal city. Due to the loss of consumption capacity by the Portuguese society amid crisis and austerity, real estate developers target external markets and local households must compete for access to a limited housing stock with tourists and other temporary city users. The subsequent global rent gap stimulates the proliferation of vacation rentals at the expense of the supply of residential housing, fueling property prices and jeopardizing housing affordability. With Portugal being a peripheral member of the EU and the Eurozone, the vulnerability of local households to the impacts of tourism gentrification is aggravated by the remarkable income gap with their counterparts of the core.

Original languageEnglish
Article number33
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Sciences
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2019

Keywords

  • Austerity
  • Gentrification
  • Housing
  • Neoliberalism
  • Rent gap theory
  • Tourism
  • Tourist accommodation
  • Uneven development
  • Vacation rentals

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