• Germany's news in English
Flats more affordable as rents rise slower than salaries
Photo: DPA

Flats more affordable as rents rise slower than salaries

DPA/The Local · 15 Aug 2016, 12:17

Published: 15 Aug 2016 12:17 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 Aug 2016 12:17 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The last time the IW carried out such a study in 2010, the average German household could afford a 92 square-metre apartment on a quarter of their disposable income. Six years later, that figure has risen to 94 square meters.

On the national level, rents have risen on average 10.2 percent since 2010, while after-tax income has risen slightly more, at 11.5 percent.

But regional differences are very clear, with the major beneficiaries living in rural areas, especially the former East German states of Saxony, Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

While three quarters of local districts saw tenants win in terms of spending power, the trend in urban areas has often been in the other direction.

The population of Berlin has most to complain about when it comes to rising rents.

“In Berlin the development is very serious because change is happening so quickly there,” explained IW economist Ralph Henger.

The population of Berlin has risen by a quarter million to 3.61 million since the last study was conducted, placing pressure on the housing market and pushing up rent.

In the capital rents have risen by a remarkable 26 percent over the past six years, well over the national average and significantly higher than in Munich and Hamburg, which have seen rent rises of 14 and 12 percent respectively.

Nonetheless, tenants in all three of Germany’s major cities can afford roughly the same size of apartment on a quarter of the household income - 70 square metres in Munich, 68 square metres in Hamburg and Berlin.

The report finds that in Munich and Frankfurt - two of the most expensive cities for rents in the country - the situation has eased somewhat.

But Munich is still “barely affordable for many families,” said Henger.

“Overall the situation is not dramatic. Without the arrival of refugees last year we would have seen a bigger decline in the situation.”

Only in five percent of administrative districts nationwide are rents higher than 9 euros per square metre, Henger stated.

“As a comparison, €6.90 per square-metre is the average in Germany.”

Story continues below…

Two areas stand out for offering the largest homes as a proportion of income: in Dingolfing-Landau in Bavaria or Lüchow-Dannenberg in Lower Saxony, tenants can on average afford a 120 square-metre apartment on a quarter of their disposable income.

Least attractive are the university towns Freiburg, Heidelberg and Würzburg where a pokey 60 square metres is all 25 percent of your spending power will get you.

The researchers are also optimistic that the positive trend will continue and will even hit the big urban centres in the coming years.

“We are expecting an easing of the situation. There has been an increase in building projects. But it takes three to five years  between planning and the completion of buildings,” said Henger.

This map shows the size of apartment in square metres the people of various German districts can afford. Source: DPA

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Eurowings union threatens cabin crew strike for Thursday
Photo: DPA.

A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will start as of Thursday if ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

Pegida leader 'paid court costs with group's money'
Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA.

The leader of the anti-Islam movement reportedly used money from Pegida's coffers to pay for two personal court cases, German media reported this week.

Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

Obama to visit Berlin in last presidential trip to Germany
President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel during a Berlin trip in 2013. Photo: DPA.

The White House announced on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama will be paying one last unexpected visit to the German capital - his last before he leaves office.

Hostility towards minorities 'widespread in Bavaria'
A village in southern Bavaria. Photo: DPA.

Hate and hostility towards groups deemed to be different are not just sentiments felt by fringe extremists, a new report on Bavaria shows.

Hated RB Leipzig emerge as shock challengers to Bayern
RB Leipzig. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig's remarkable unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season has seen them suddenly emerge at the head of the pack chasing reigning champions and league leaders Bayern Munich.

Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd