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18:30 - 19:30 20 March 2018

Constraining second home investments: the economic impacts


Room G.12 | The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment
22 Gordon Street | London | WC1H 0QB | United Kingdom

Open to: Alumni | Public | Academic | Student
Admission: Free
Ticketing: Pre-booking essential

Speaker information

Professor Christian Hilber, Professor of Economic Geography, London School of Economics, Professor Christian Hilber is Professor of Economic Geography at the London School of Economics (LSE). Before joining LSE, he was an economist at Fannie Mae and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Basel. Prof Hilber's research interests include urban economics, real estate (in particular land and housing markets), local public finance, and political economics. He is the Director of LSE’s MSc Real Estate Economics and Finance programme. He is an Associate of the LSE's Centre for Economic Performance and of the Spatial Economics Research Centre.

Constraining second home investments in tourist destinations or superstar cities is an increasingly popular policy, not just in the UK but across the globe. In this lecture, Professor Hilber investigates the housing and labour market impacts of such political backlash against wealthy investors.

He provides evidence from a quasi-natural experiment - the Swiss ‘Second Home Initiative’ - suggesting that the adverse effects of banning second home investments on local economies dominate any positive amenity preservation effects. Local residents are on average worse off, while existing owners of second homes are the main beneficiaries.

Professor Hilber concludes that, at least in locations where primary and second homes are not very close substitutes, constraining second home investments may reinforce rather than reduce wealth inequality. Imposing an additional annual local tax on the value of second homes is a preferable policy to banning the construction of new second homes outright.


Niamh Ryan
+44 (0)203 108 3304 | bscpm.comms@ucl.ac.uk


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