10 Aug 21 | News

New study on strategies and practices of land owners and developers in Luxembourg

A joint publication by LISER and the University of Luxembourg examines how the ownership of residential land affects housing production

A new joint publication1 by the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER) and the University of Luxembourg (UNILU) entitled “Land and the housing affordability crisis: landowner and developer strategies in Luxembourg’s facilitative planning context” was published in the journal Housing Studies. Authors, Antoine Paccoud (LISER), Markus Hesse (UNILU), Tom Becker (UNILU) and Magdalena Górczynska-Angiulli (LISER) investigate the ways in which the structure of landownership affects housing production in Luxembourg. They highlight the importance of the land issue to understanding the country’s housing affordability crisis.

Drawing on expert interviews, the authors characterise Luxembourg’s regulatory context as facilitative of private land-based wealth accumulation strategies. Indeed, the planning apparatus in Luxembourg devolves an unusual extent of power and sovereignty to private interests, taxes on land and inheritance are very low and public actors have until very recently been reluctant to intervene in the land market. To flesh out the private land-based wealth accumulation strategies that Luxembourg’s facilitative context enables, the researchers investigated the development of 71 large-scale residential projects in Luxembourg since 2007. Their analysis of land registry data identifies land hoarding, land banking and the strategic use of the planning system.

"This article is a first attempt to systematically map out private land and housing related practices that entrench social inequalities by fuelling property price increases."
- Antoine Paccoud,
Urban Development & Mobility Department, LISER

The research conducted on housing in Luxembourg by Antoine Paccoud and Magdalena Górczynska is supported by the Fonds National de la Recherche du Luxembourg (FNR).

1 Paccoud, A., Hesse, M., Becker, T., Górczynska-Angiulli, M. (2021). Land and the housing affordability crisis: landowner and developer strategies in Luxembourg’s facilitative planning context. Housing Studies, Advance online publication, doi: