The emotional economy of housing
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This paper offers an interpretation of the role of emotions in animating housing markets which complements more traditional economic and behavioural studies of locally based house-price inflation. Looking to debates within social psychology and cultural studies we suggest that emotions permeate the materiality and meaning of housing markets as well as the experience of individuals acting within them. Drawing on qualitative interviews conducted in Edinburgh, with households who bought in a rising market, we argue that housing transactions are emotional as well as economic affairs. We reconsider the fears that underpin what might appear to be 'irrational exuberance' and we argue that housing markets are propelled by a search for returns on emotional as well as financial investments.