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Embedment of “Liquid” Capital into the Built Environment:: The Case of REIT Investment in Hong Kong

Abstract : Since the Global Financial Crisis, the notion of securitization has become familiar to urban scholars, though research has been limited to mortgage-backed securities. This paper attempts to delineate the distinctive urban outcomes of securitization techniques applied to real estate, taking Hong Kong REITs (H-REITs) as a case study. It examines the way through which liquid H-REIT capital anchors into the built environment, and how this process impacts the life of local communities. The study shows that the urban dynamics of REIT investment contrast with the corporate environment and asset management objectives of the initiator/sponsor groups of H-REIT structures, a set of characteristics that are captured by the notion of “management styles.” Amongst the three management styles identified in the paper, those developed by the Hong Kong family-based groups have not been sufficiently active to produce significant effects on the built environment. In contrast, the Link REIT has an aggressive value enhancement strategy that has reconfigured the social geographies of retail consumption across the whole territory, to the detriment of social housing estate residents. These results support the recognition that the financialization of the built environment tends to exacerbate social polarization and to trigger political conflicts, but they must be weighed against the contingent conditions in which real estate securitization take place.
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Contributor : Natacha Aveline Ou Aveline-Dubach <>
Submitted on : Sunday, January 20, 2019 - 6:16:17 PM
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Natacha Aveline-Dubach. Embedment of “Liquid” Capital into the Built Environment:: The Case of REIT Investment in Hong Kong. Issues & Studies, World Scientific, 2017, 52 (4), ⟨10.1142/S1013251116400014⟩. ⟨halshs-01563507⟩

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