Real Estate and Society

Germany’s Most Desirable Rental Flats – an Analysis by the ImmobilienScout24 Real Estate Portal


July 2021

Germany’s most desirable kind of rental flat measures 66 square metres, divides into two-and-a-half bedrooms, and costs 446 euros to rent, net of heating. Demand for flats of this kind far exceeds supply, with corresponding listings receiving an average of 150 requests for information, or indeed up to 1,700 in popular cities. This is the upshot of a survey that the ImmoScout 24 real estate portal conducted.

It analysed 40,000 rental listings in 400 cities and rural districts from 2020 for the purpose. The survey’s authors found that rent rates have skyrocketed in response to Germany’s supply shortage. By far the fastest rent growth was registered in Berlin, a city state, where rates increased by 36 percent over the past five years. Next in line was the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, trailing Berlin at 15 percent. Conversely, rental growth was relatively moderate in the states of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania and Saxony at 9 percent each.

Generally speaking, the development has prompted flat hunters to shift their search increasingly to smaller flats in order to dodge rising rent rates. In Berlin, Stuttgart and Munich, the metropolises with the fastest rent increases lately, the dwelling size attracting the largest number of searches was already down to 45 to 55 square metres. The number of applicants ranged from 1,377 to 2,017 per flat. Judging by the number of applicants, the most desirable type of flat in Berlin had a footprint of 49 square metres, two bedrooms and a basic rent of 426 euros a month.

“Build the Homes that People Look for!”

What ImmoScout 24 sought to highlight with its survey is the housing shortage in Germany. No less than 400,000 new flats would have been needed in 2020 to meet demand. The online platform gets these figures from a survey conducted by the state-owned KfW development bank, which concluded that 350,000 to 400,000 flats would have to be completed each year to meet Germany’s rising demand. In 2020, the number of planned flats ready for occupancy equalled 316,550 and thus fell well short of the required supply. The problem according to the survey’s authors is that roughly ten percent of all planning consents go unused because the approved buildings are not actually completed within the prescribed four-year period. Whenever this happens and a planning consent lapses, a new application must be filed and approved. The authors cite this as one of the ways in which the German housing industry misses out on urgently needed accommodation. Another is the scant supply in development land. The survey concludes that too many property developments proceed in disregard of actual demand. The property portals appeal to the industry is therefore: “Build the homes that people look for!” Sources:

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