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RENTING

The most expensive (and cheapest) cities in Germany to rent a room

For those looking to find a room in a flatshare in Germany, it can be helpful to know which cities have higher prices, and where it's more affordable.

An aerial view of flats in Munich.
An aerial view of flats in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sina Schuldt

Due to rising demand and low supplies, the cost of renting a flat in some German cities has risen dramatically in recent years. 

For that reason, many people decide to enter into a flatshare – known as a Wohngemeinschaft or WG in Germany. Lots of students, trainees on apprenticeships and people who are not staying in Germany for a long time may also decide to go down the WG route. 

In view of the difficult housing market in Germany right now, however, renting a room can still be pricey depending on where it is. 

Housing market analyst Empirica carried out research on the cost of renting a room ahead of the university summer semester in Germany which began in April. 

Using several thousand rental advertisements for shared flats, they looked at warm rents (the base rent as well as additional costs) for an unfurnished room between 10 and 30 square metres. 

READ ALSO: Six confusing things about renting a flat in Germany 

The group found that shared flats were 22 percent more expensive in 2022 than in the 2017 summer semester.

“In the university locations as a whole, the standard price for the current semester is €421 and thus 22 percent higher than in the summer semester 2017 – or €19 higher than in the summer semester 2021,” said the market analyst.

Colourful flats in Berlin.

Colourful flats in Berlin. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Wolfgang Kumm

Where do rooms cost the most – and the least?

The standard price for an unfurnished room in a shared flat is highest in Munich – at €650 per month. It’s perhaps unsurprising since the Bavarian capital is known as one of the most expensive places to rent a home in Germany – and even Europe. A recent ranking on the cost of living by ECA placed the German cities of Munich (16th) and Frankfurt (19th) in the top 20 most expensive cities in Europe. 

Munich is followed by Hamburg, Frankfurt and Berlin where a WG room will set you back about €500 per month, according to the study. And in Cologne, renters there face paying around €490 per month in rent to live in a shared flat. 

READ ALSO: Revealed – how much it costs to rent a room in a German university town 

The most affordable offers for a WG room are currently in Magdeburg (Saxony-Anhalt) where it costs €259 per month to stay in a flatshare and Halle where it’s €260 per month.

The graph by Statista below shows the most expensive and most affordable cities this year, according to the study. 

Infografik: Wo WG-Mieten besonders teuer/günstig sind | Statista

Source: Statista

Other more affordable cities are Erfurt in Thuringia (€300 per month), Paderborn in North Rhine-Westphalia (€305) and Leipzig in Saxony (€320).

Vocabulary

Cheap/affordable – günstig

More affordable price – günstigerer Preis 

More expensive – teurer 

Unfurnished – unmöbliert 

Housing market – (der) Wohnungsmarkt 

We’re aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Let us know.

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RENTING

Up to 30 percent of large families in Germany ‘live in overcrowded housing’

In Germany, more than one in ten residents lived in overcrowded housing last year, according to data from the Federal Statistical Office released on Thursday. But the figures were much higher for families with children.

Up to 30 percent of large families in Germany 'live in overcrowded housing'

Around 8.6 million people – or 10.5 percent of the population – were living in cramped quarters in 2021.

Households with children were the most likely in overcrowded housing, which is defined as too few rooms in relation to the number of people. This is based on the European Community statistics on income and living conditions, the so-called EU-SILC.  

A home is considered overcrowded if, for example, there is no common room or no separate room per adult.

READ ALSO: Single people and large families ‘pay more for rent’ in Germany

Among families, the overcrowding rate was 15.9 percent. In households with two adults and at least three children, the figure hovered as high as 30.7 percent. For single parents, it was 28.4 percent. 

At 17.8 percent, the overcrowding rate for minors was around six times higher than for older people aged 65 and over, where the figure stood at only three percent.

Households without children

In households without children, the overcrowding rate was 6.5 percent, lower than across all other types of living situations. Proportionally, two adults without children were least likely to live in overcrowded housing, with a figure of just 2.7 percent.

According to the statistics office, there was a marked difference between urban and rural areas. The proportion of people living in overcrowded apartments in larger cities was around three times higher at 15.5 percent than in rural areas at 4.9 percent.

READ ALSO: Half of big city households in Germany ‘spend over 30 percent of income on rent’

Across the EU, however, Germany fares better than average. According to Eurostat, the overcrowding rate in the EU in 2021 was 17.1 percent.

Vocabulary

overcrowded – überbelegt

single parents – (die) Alleinerziehende

living conditions – (die) Lebensbedingungen

proportionally – anteilig

We’re aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Let us know.

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