Compared to liberalism and social democracy, conservative ideology is presented in the literature to have had an ambiguous and much less significant influence on housing policy-making. The article argues that alongside measures facilitating the commodification of housing based in liberal ideology and those fostering the de-commodification of housing rooted in social democracy, the conservative idea of promoting little-commodified family property ownership as an antidote to proletarianisation brought about by capitalism and the guarantee of social stability has also underlain housing policy-making in various countries and eras. Based on works synthesising conservative political philosophy and the housing literature, characteristics of a conservative housing regime are defined. The construction, deconstruction and reconstruction of the Hungarian conservative housing regime over the past 120 years is then reviewed to trace mechanisms and conditions contributing to the enduring significance of the paradigm. The article concludes that strong conservative orientation of the country’s early housing policies, the forceful retrenchment of this housing paradigm during state socialism and the disillusionment with neoliberalism after the 2009 mortgage crisis are the main causes behind the (re-)construction of a markedly conservative housing regime in Hungary in the past decade.
Keywords: housing, housing regime, conservatism, path dependence, ideology, Hungary