• Germany edition
 
Census shows 700,000 German flats lack loos
Photo: DPA

Census shows 700,000 German flats lack loos

Published: 11 Jun 2013 07:40 GMT+02:00
Updated: 11 Jun 2013 07:40 GMT+02:00

Some 1.7 percent of Germany's 41.3 million flats lack the most basic of facilities, according to 2011 census data released by the federal statistics office at the end May.

Most residents of these dwellings have to go without either toilet or a bath in their homes, and those living in 330,000 of those flats must make do without either, wrote the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Monday.

Although most of the flats are in the former East Germany, experts were surprised to find that 1.5 percent of apartments in the prosperous Bavarian capital of Munich also lacked standard sanitation.

Antiquated heating systems were also surprisingly widespread, said the paper, with residents of 2.5 million German apartments found to rely solely on coal or wood-fired ovens for heat through what are often long, icy winters. A further 200,000 dwellings had no heating of any kind, census data revealed.

Click here for The Local's property listings

The census, which measured the number and living conditions of people in Germany on May 9, 2011, showed that 1.5 million fewer people live in the country than the previously assumed population of 81.7 million.

Yet confusingly, the census also showed there were also 500,000 more flats in the country than previously thought, leading some to wonder how urgent Germany's current housing shortage can really be.

The apparent contradiction is down to two factors, Rolf Kornemann, president of the Haus & Grund home owners' association told the paper.

First of all, too many of these flats can be dismissed as “junk properties,” deemed uninhabitable by many for a lack of sanitation or heating, and are often left empty when a long-term tenant moves out.

Secondly, said Kornemann, immigration and the resulting demand for housing has been shown to vary massively from region to region.

According to census figures, 4.4 percent of all German flats are currently standing empty - but regionally this figure ranges from 1.5 percent of flats in Hamburg to over 10 percent in the eastern cities of Chemnitz, Leipzig and Halle.

Germany has seen 400,000 net immigrants enter the country since the census in 2011, the vast majority of whom headed to the bigger, wealthier cities in search of work, Kornemann told the paper.

The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Germany's estate agents plan strike action
Photo: DPA

Germany's estate agents plan strike action

First it was the pilots, then train drivers - now Germany's real estate agents are threatening to go on strike. But their call to arms has been met with sneers rather than sympathy. READ  

Finger slicer's insurance scam fails
Ralf-Werner arriving in court last week. Photo: DPA

Finger slicer's insurance scam fails

An insurance salesman who sawed off his own finger and thumb to claim insurance was given a suspended sentence by a court in northern Germany on Friday. READ  

PKK: banned in Germany, allies in Iraq
Kurdish demonstrators at a rally in Düsseldorf in October. Photo: DPA

PKK: banned in Germany, allies in Iraq

Germany finds itself in a complicated relationship with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). At home, police must investigate anyone who flies the flag, but in the Middle East they are the best hope of beating back the Islamic State. READ  

Quiz
Will our Halloween quiz give you a fright?
Walpurgis Night in the Harz. Photo: DPA

Will our Halloween quiz give you a fright?

Germany is home to a plethora of haunted castles and has a huge stock of gruesome stories. How well do you know the spooky side of the Germans? READ  

Retail sales show biggest drop for seven years
Photo: DPA

Retail sales show biggest drop for seven years

German shoppers cut back on their spending in September at the fastest rate for seven years, official data showed on Friday. READ  

Fall of the Wall - 25 years
'I'm leaving for the West, who's coming?'
Engels at the spot where he drove through the Wall and in hospital in 1963 after being shot. Photo: Nick Allen/Fotoarchiv Alex Waidmann Berlin

'I'm leaving for the West, who's coming?'

There are many of tales of ingenious and well-thought out escape plans from people desperate to flee from East to West Berlin. Wolfgang Engels’ wasn’t one of them. It was, however, one of the most daring. READ  

Police probe pupils who made Nazi salutes
Pupils used WhatsApp to share messages which are police are investigating. Photo: DPA

Police probe pupils who made Nazi salutes

Police are investigating pupils at a school in Saxony-Anhalt for incitement of the people and use of banned symbols after teenagers allegedly made the Hitler salute. READ  

Time running out for refugees in Berlin school
Representatives of the refugees at a press conference last week. Photo: DPA

Time running out for refugees in Berlin school

An ultimatum for the remaining refugees and their supporters to leave an occupied school in Berlin, which has been the scene of protests for months, will expire at midnight on Friday. READ  

EU promises support for Ukraine gas deal
Photo: DPA

EU promises support for Ukraine gas deal

The European Union will "fully play its role" to implement the gas deal signed by Ukraine and Russia on Thursday, Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Francois Hollande said in a joint statement. READ  

Body scanners to come to more airports
Photo: DPA

Body scanners to come to more airports

Passengers at German airports can expect a controversial full body scan in the future. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles from British Airways
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Want to study in Germany? These are the subjects to choose
Photo: DPA
Society
Germans are wide of the mark on immigration
Photo: DPA
Society
Halloween: Where are the spookiest spots?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Who wants to work in Germany? A third of the world
Photo: DPA
Society
'We can't allow a proxy war on German streets'
Sponsored Article
International School on the Rhine: a legacy
Photo: DPA
Society
QUIZ: How well do you know Germany?
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,534
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd