Luxembourgers leave country in droves due to housing crisis
Neighbouring French town records 75% increase in numbers arriving from Grand Duchy in search of affordable housing
By Charles Michel and Yannick Lambert
Luxembourg's housing crisis is forcing growing numbers of people born and raised in the country to move to neighbouring countries, as the prospect of ever owning a home in the Grand Duchy disappears from view for many.
Laure, a 45-year-old from Dudelange, left the country in 1997 when she was just 20 and working as a medical secretary, frustrated at being unable to build a home in the place where she was born and grew up.
"Despite a good salary, I was unable to buy anything. So I left", she said, moving just half a kilometre across the border in Volmerange-les-Mines, she told Virgule.
Some 70,000 Luxembourg citizens already live in the neighbouring countries of Belgium, France and Germany, with the top destination being France, which houses 28,000 inhabitants from the Grand Duchy.
In Audun le Tiche, also just across the border from the city of Esch, the number of Luxembourg residents increased by more than 75% in the five years between 2013 and 2018, to 320, according to the council's figures.
However, the number of Portuguese citizens moving to the French town has jumped even more sharply, rising by 134% in the same period. Many Portuguese residents in Luxembourg - the country's second largest national grouping by a considerable distance - are also opting to move away from the Grand Duchy due to higher prices.
The increased emigration of Luxembourgers across the border has driven prices up in neighbouring regions, but they are still more affordable than the Grand Duchy, where the average cost of an apartment more than doubled to over €660,000 in the decade to 2021, according to data from the country’s official statistics agency Statec.
The Luxembourg Times previously reported that young Luxembourgers are going even further afield after their studies as they cannot afford housing in the Grand Duchy, opting to remain in places such as the UK or east Germany.