Housing and Home Unbound
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A global digital expansion of the residential real estate industry is underway. Millions of local residential homes from some of the wealthiest countries around the world are being uploaded for sale onto thousands of internet-enabled real estate platforms. While critical housing scholars and some digital citizenries are abandoning and thinking beyond the technics of housing and land as private property, the globalising real estate industry is digitising, uploading and upscaling the local real estate technics of a former era onto their new tech products. The real estate tech industry has uploaded the real estate technics that created significant housing inequity and exacerbated housing disadvantage in the second half of the twentieth century, as international real estate technics for the twenty first century.

Refecting on the rise of the world wide web and internet, and the free-market liberalism and disdain for government that information technologists deployed to frame its emergence, it is perhaps not surprising that real estate was so readily uploaded into this technological system. The rise of Web 2.0-style real estate technologies, and the buying and selling of real estate tech companies, has made real estate data itself a sought after and tradable commodity. Government regulation should ensure that big real estate data become open source, publicly available and free. Internet history shows that large tech companies are not committed to free open-source big data capture, transparency and social democracy, and the large Web 2.0 tech companies are driving towards technological oligarchy in their respective entrepreneurial fields. What might be lost if real estate tech companies follow suit is the ability to creatively innovate outside the sets of market-centric real estate technics that framed twentieth century real estate practice.

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