Anyone wishing to rent an apartment in Berlin had to pay an average of 10.45 euros per square meter per month – and in the city center “12 euros across the board”. That is only a few cents more than last year. However, the authors of the most important report on the housing market from the state-owned development bank IBB do not see any connection with the introduction of the rental cover. The market remains tense.
The growing housing shortage can be seen most clearly from the development of the past five years: During this time, incomes in the city rose by five percent, but rose three times faster ” Comparative rents customary in the area “of existing rental contracts: by 15 percent. If at least many additional apartments came onto the market, relaxation would be expected. But the opposite is the case: the number of apartments grew by three percent, but the population grew even faster, by five percent.
Construction Senator Lompscher: “We are well prepared”
Berlin’s Senator for Urban Development Katrin Lompscher (left) still sees the construction policy on the right track: “If the numbers in the new building remain at 16,700 apartments per year, we are well equipped to reduce the scarcity” on the housing market. It is “on the one hand unfortunate” that the number of new apartments approved for construction has decreased. On the other hand, so many apartments are currently under construction than they have been in years. According to IBB boss Jürgen Allerkamp, however, “there are still around 145,000 apartments in the city that need to be built through further housing construction”. The new building does not cover this deficiency because the population continues to grow.
Lompscher’s main focus is on the range of affordable apartments. Since the introduction of the new housing subsidy, 3,200 social housing units have been completed – and 11,700 have been funded. With the new building, it wants to keep the range of subsidized rental apartments in the city stable at “around 100,000” properties. For years now, however, more social housing has been falling out of fixed rent because the funding period has expired than the six state-owned companies can build or buy. Private companies are practically not active in this market.
According to the housing market report of the development bank IBB, Berlin’s population a year 2018 by 31,300 inhabitants. In the past year, the influx decreased somewhat to around 20,000, as the statistics office had reported. According to the IBB report, the surrounding area of the city is growing faster than Berlin: by 5.5 percent compared to five percent in Berlin. The surrounding area also benefits greatly from the influx of Berliners. It is quite possible that families with children will move to the bacon belt because of the high rents. According to the author of the Arnt von Bodelschwingh report, Berlin is growing largely because many 18- to 30-year-olds move here. “Students, trainees, young professionals and sometimes also young families with small children”. The 30- to 45-year-olds, on the other hand, hardly contribute to the city’s population growth. “There are losses for all age groups over 45 years.”
High prices deter
It is quite possible that the high prices of apartments and houses are the cause. Almost one in ten people who live alone in Berlin pay at least half of their net income for rent. And the costs of electricity and heat are added to that. On average, all households in Berlin pay 28.2 percent of their net household income for living. Berliners who rented their apartment after 2015 are particularly affected. This figure also shows that there is a lack of family-friendly apartments in the city: 33,000 households live with three or more people in two-room apartments.
The Berlin-wide asking rent of EUR 10.45 per square meter corresponds an increase over the previous year of only 13 cents per square meter, which corresponds to 1.3 percent. Every tenth apartment was offered for less than 7 euros, which was a slight increase compared to the previous year (2018: nine percent). These are largely objects from the portfolio of the six state-owned housing companies. Cooperatives also rent “well below average”, according to Bodelschwingh: on average for 7.23 euros per square meter.
In contrast, property prices are increasing at an undiminished pace. If you want to live in your own apartment, you had to spend around ten percent more for your home last year: On average, almost 550,000 euros (2018: 500,000). Condominiums cost on average 4777 euros per square meter (2018: 4368 euros) – in new buildings even 6000 euros.
To the “one million question”, how the Corona epidemic will have an impact on the housing market t, said Senator Lompscher: “This will not leave the new building without a trace”. But you are confident that the crisis “will not last too long”.