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RENTING

REVEALED: How much it costs to rent a room in a German university town

The cost of renting a room in a shared flat in one of Germany's 97 university towns is higher than ever before - though there are major regional differences, a new study suggests.

Munich city centre
Munich city centre, where rooms in shared flats are the most expensive in the country. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Matthias Balk

According to the study ‘University Town Scoring 2021’, people renting a room in a student hotspot currently have to shell out an average of €414 in ‘warm’ rent, meaning rent plus service charges and energy bills.

The Moses Mendelssohn Institute – who conducted the study – looked at around 25,000 advertisements for rooms in shared flats in 97 university towns across Germany between December and February.

They found that rents for students and other young people in these areas were higher than ever before.

Two years ago, the average warm rent for a room in a university town was €389 per month.

There are enormous differences in rents across different regions though – particularly across eastern and western university towns and in the major cities.

Unsurprisingly, Munich, which is home to the prestigious Ludwig Maximilian University, topped the scoreboard as the city with the highest rents for rooms in shared flats. 

In the Bavarian capital, students and other young people renting a room are currently expected to shell out a whopping €680 per month for their warm rent – far higher than any other university town in Germany.

The second most expensive city for room rentals was Frankfurt am Main, with average warm rents of €550 for a single room. In joint third place were Hamburg and Berlin, where single rooms cost €500 per month on average.

Outside of the capital, where rents have been soaring in recent years, flat-share tenants in other parts of eastern Germany can expect to pay around half of the average rents in the major cities. 

In the university towns of Freiberg, Mittweida und Chemnitz in Saxony, for instance, an average room in a shared flat will set you back €256 per month, including bills.

The cheapest city in the rankings, however, was Brandenburg’s Cottbus, where warm rents for a single room are just €230 a month.

The pandemic effect

Though average rents have gone up in recent years, experts say the price hikes have been dampened slightly by the pandemic, which has provided some relief on the housing market in some areas.

With online teaching becoming the norm in most universities at the height of Covid-19, many students were discouraged from looking for rooms in their university town and instead opted to save money by staying at home with their families.

High-rise flats in Chemnitz

The Karl Marx Monument and high-rise flats in Chemnitz, Saxony. Chemnitz is one of the cheapest places in Germany to be a student. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Hendrik Schmidt

READ ALSO: What it’s like to study abroad in Germany during a pandemic

This initially dampened rising rents and even led to prices going down in some of the university towns that were studied.

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LIVING IN GERMANY

Living in Germany: Keeping track of working hours, rude AfD sweets and Miniatur Wunderland

In our weekly roundup about life in Germany we look at the effect a recent court ruling could have on working life, weird political sweets, the leaning tower of Gau-Weinheim and Hamburg's cool model wonderland.

Living in Germany: Keeping track of working hours, rude AfD sweets and Miniatur Wunderland

Court ruling set to change the way we work in Germany 

One of our most-read stories this week was on the Federal Labour’s Court decision that employers in Germany should be recording the working hours of all their employees. Although it actually dates back to a ruling by the European Court of Justice (2019), no further action had been taken in Germany until now. So what does this mean? Well it appears that bosses, who don’t do this already, will soon have to set up a system to record their employees’ work schedules. The aim is to protect employees from working too much and carrying out unpaid overtime. But it does also raise issues about trust – which the current system is based on – and what happens when an employee works from home. There’s no clear start date for when this will have to start, and Germany is a long way off from being able to implement tracking of employees’ hours across the board. But it signals a cultural shift, and it’s something we can expect to be more integrated into working life in future. Imogen Goodman explored the decision in an explainer published on Friday. You can read more here.

Tweet of the week

There’s been some red faces among Germany’s far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD). The party in Lower Saxony had gummy bears made for their state election campaign in the shape of the red arrow from their logo. But people have spotted a very strong resemblance to something else….

Where is this?

Photo: DPA/ Boris Roessler

Forget the leaning tower of Pisa – today we’re highlighting some other magnificently crooked architecture. This is the leaning tower of Gau-Weinheim. Due to its inclination of 5.4277 degrees, the former fortified tower of the small municipality in Rhineland-Palatinate is considered the “most leaning tower in the world” according to the Record Institute for Germany (RID). 

Did you know?

With its rich history, location by the water and abundance of Fischbrötchen, the northern German city of Hamburg is well worth checking out. But did you know that it’s also home to the world’s largest miniature railway? Twin brothers Fredereki and Gerrit Braun set about creating the masterpiece back in 2000. One year later, Miniatur Wunderland opened its doors. The Wunderland has over 1,040 trains and a layout size of more than 1.490 square metres. You can take a trip around the world in the surroundings – and there’s even a miniature airport which simulates take offs and landings with model aeroplanes. The brothers are always expanding and consistently break their own Guinness World Records. It’s great for kids too. 

Thanks for reading,

The Local Germany team

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