Forces impacting the real estate market environment in shrinking cities: possible drivers of future development

Annamari Kiviaho*, Saija Toivonen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


Urban shrinkage poses significant challenges to Real Estate markets in Shrinking Cities and has multiple negative impacts on society, environment and economy. Although major cities are growing rapidly, a significant volume of building stock and population will endure in shrinking cities in the future. To enhance the resilience of local real estate markets and communities, forces that offer novel possibilities for shrinking cities should be actively studied. This study deepens understanding of the forces affecting the real estate market environments of Shrinking Cities by examining the public discourse and the perceptions of local market participants, both of which steer future market development. To identify and analyse these forces, an environmental scanning method was employed, using as data sources 872 Finnish newspaper articles and 45 interviews with market actors in eight Shrinking Cities in Finland. The results categorise the identified forces under three themes that describe the drivers of future market development. The findings indicate that, although the Real Estate markets of Shrinking Cities face challenges, forces such as telecommuting, multi-local living and emerging industries may offer new opportunities and slow urban shrinkage. The findings may be utilised to steer the development of Shrinking Cities in a more resilient direction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-211
Number of pages23
JournalEuropean Planning Studies
Issue number1
Early online date8 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • shrinking cities
  • real estate market
  • future studies
  • environmental scanning


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