Jean-Paul Scheuren, pictured in this archive photo, is president of the Chambre Immobilière de Luxembourg (CIGDL)
By letting house prices spiral out of control, Luxembourg is forgetting a “whole fringe of the population”, the head of Luxembourg’s real estate chamber has said.
“Whether it is a young lawyer called to the bar or a supermarket cashier, these people, although well integrated and active, are left behind and cannot find accommodation within their reach,” Jean-Paul Scheuren said in an interview for the Paperjam Plus July/August 2019 Real Estate supplement. House prices have risen on average 4.5% each year since 2010, driven largely by the fact that demand outstrips supply. Scheuren, who was interviewed alongside housing minister Sam Tanson (Green party), said no-one had an interest in the market collapsing overnight. But, he said action was needed to improve transparency in relation to market prices.
“We lack reliable data, both on the number and volume of transactions and on the actual prices of these transactions,” he said, referring to the fact that the most recent data refers to the advertised sale prices as opposed actual sale prices, leaving the market open to speculation. He added that the use of price per square metre as a measure was also fueling spiraling prices.
He said: “We advocate the introduction of a real estate market dashboard, composed of reliable indicators, capable of alerting observers in the event of increased risk. We already know that the threshold for access to housing, or the moment when you will be able to become a homeowner, has moved. We need a higher salary today than in the past. But it is impossible to say from when and for whom it will become impossible to find accommodation in Luxembourg.”
Among the solutions he moots are the creation of a new kind of affordable housing.
Tanson, meanwhile, called for a review of property taxes, to make it “less fiscally advantageous to keep empty land located in an area dedicated to housing,” adding that it’s part of a series of solutions.