HOMInG’s Luis Eduardo Pérez Murcia and Paolo Boccagni have just published an article on transnational housing and migrants’ desires, imaginaries and practices about home ownership in the country of origin in Migration and Development.
See the abstract below. More info on the underlying research and key findings, and copies of the article, available by contacting the authors!
Selling a house, staging a dream: Real estate agencies and transnational housing between Spain and Ecuador
By Luis Eduardo Pérez Murcia and Paolo Boccagni
Migration and Development, 2020 – https://doi.org/10.1080/21632324.2020.1842608
Migrants’ transnational housing investments are a relatively overlooked field to explore the workings of so-called migration industries, as we do, in this paper, through a case study of Ecuadorian migration. Based on fieldwork with two real estate agencies in Madrid and visits to their housing projects in Quito, we show how these companies support Ecuadorians’ collective socio-cultural practices in Madrid, in order to capitalise on their potential to invest in the homeland. As the agencies claim, migrants who buy properties in Ecuador do not just pursue their own interest. They also display their unremitting attachment to the country, besides paving the way for a ‘successful’ return. As our analysis reveals, housing investments can indeed facilitate migrant’s physical, emotional, and existential mobility. However, the repertoire of ‘Ecuadorianness’ these agencies deploy in Spain has little to do with the symbols and imaginaries of modernity and success on which their real estate developments in Ecuador rely. This reveals the inherent tensions in status and life projects between immigration and emigration contexts, and the role of transnational housing investments in mediating them.