This article presents two cases of listed real estate companies that operate in the Ruhr metropolitan region of Germany. The first is Immeo Wohnen, a subsidiary of the French real estate investment trust (REIT) Fonciere des Regions that was previously owned by a US hedge fund. The second is Vonovia, Germany’s largest real estate company, originally a subsidiary of a British private equity firm. Both examples embody what we call the shift from financialisation 1.0 to financialisation 2.0, i.e. the transition from pure speculation to long-term investment. We show that long-term investment strategies are used by REITs and listed funds in order to release housing into the privatised mainstream of capital accumulation. With the advent of the financialisation of rental housing 2.0, the long-term investment focus of these funds paradoxically enables a short-term investment focus by buying and selling shares in these funds on the stock exchange.
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