According to Research and Consulting Company for Housing, Real Estate and the Environment (F+B), the Bavarian capital has been overtaken by Stuttgart.
Tenants have to pay significantly more to rent an apartment in the Baden-Württemberg city, where the average net cold rent (before extra costs such as for heating and insurance) is now €10.41 per square metre.
This makes Stuttgart the most expensive city for tenants in Germany for the first time since F+B started compiling their research in 1996, pushing Munich into second place.
Overall, the study found rents in Germany are continuing to rise, although not as strongly as in previous years.
In 2019, rents climbed by 1.8 percent, 0.4 percentage points less than in 2018.
Tenants in Germany have to pay on average €7.04 per square metre. According to the study, local comparative rents are most reasonable in the likes of Erfurt, eastern Berlin, Potsdam, Dresden and Schwerin.
“Stuttgart residents pay an average of €10.41 per square metre of net rent for their apartments, 48 percent above the €7.04 per square metre paid on average in cities,” said F+B managing director Dr. Bernd Leutner.
Munich is ranked sixth and tenants pay an average of €9.74 per square metre for net cold rent, according to the study.
Berlin becomes more expensive – but not for everyone
Prices in Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt am Main and Cologne are also far above the overall average – in Berlin, on the other hand, they are only slightly above the average at €7.32 per square metre.
According to F+B, tenants with old leases in Berlin have a much better deal compared to newcomers.
Although existing rents in old and new flats have recently risen at an above-average rate, long-term tenants can still live relatively cheaply in the capital.
Suburbs becoming more expensive than cities
The most expensive municipality for tenants is Karlsfeld in the district of Dachau in the neighbourhood of Munich, F+B reported. The average net cold rent here reaches €10.86 per square metre. The cities of Germering and Dachau, where there are also very high rent costs, are also in Bavaria.
Flats in Munich. Photo: DPA
“This shows that the old rule that anyone who wants to live more cheaply must move to the surrounding area no longer applies in the same way,” F+B explained.
The high cost of renting an apartment in German cities has led to more demand for homes in the surrounding area and suburbs, which in turn pushes up prices there.
Overall, the top 10 most expensive cities for tenants are located in southern Germany, the most prosperous part of the country.
The top 20 most expensive cities and municipalities
Karlsfeld (Bavaria, most expensive municipality)
Stuttgart (Baden-Württemberg), most expensive city)
Esslingen am Neckar (Baden-Württemberg)
Düsseldorf (North-Rhine Westphalia)
Frankfurt am Main (Hesse)
The first eastern German city in the ranking is Jena, which comes in at 90th place, where rents are roughly at the national average level.
F+B annually compares rent overviews and the development of the housing costs to find out what Germany's tenants have to pay on average.
The company examines the net cold rents of typical 65 square metre flats in municipalities and cities with at least 20,000 people to produce a rent index. In 2019 there were 351 cities in the index.