The Handelsblatt newspaper said the average nationwide rent increase over the past year was around three percent, but that in certain areas this was much higher. Greifswald, in Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania, saw the highest increase of 10.4 percent, followed by Bremen with 8.8 percent and Breisgau, Baden-Württemberg with an 8.1 percent increase.
Prices for people buying flats and houses also rose, particularly for newly built property. Especially in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf, where the paper said prices increased by between seven and nine percent.
Construction Minister Peter Ramsauer, whose ministry compiled the report and presented it to cabinet on Wednesday, said in June he saw a trend emerging from the combination of growing demand and too little building over a number of years.
Figures from the Statistics Office show the net rent in 2011 having increased by just 1.2 percent over the previous year – well under the general inflation rate of 2.3 percent.
But the rate of increase in rent when new contracts are agreed is much higher – the offers advertised were 2.9 percent over the previous year. In western Germany they rose by 2.7 percent to an average of €6.72 a square metre, and in eastern regions they were up by 3.5 percent to reach €5.51 per square metre.
Rents have risen particularly in booming cities and many university towns, and the 20 towns with the strongest upward tendency all had increases of between 5 and 10 percent. Around half the population live in towns where rents have risen by at least two percent, the Handelsblatt said.