The study by housing market data experts empirica regio found that singles and large families pay the highest rents per square metre in Germany.
On average, tenants paid €9.84 per square metre ‘cold rent’ for a one-room flat throughout Germany last year, not including add-on costs or Nebenkosten. Flats with five or more rooms were offered on average for €8.78 per square metre.
In contrast, flats with two rooms were cheaper – at €8.72 per square metre, as were three-room flats at €8.41, and four-room flats at €8.42.
The situation is particularly bad in large cities, including Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Berlin. In these areas, families paid €13.71 per square metre for flats with five or more rooms on average last year, and one-room flats were €13.50 per square metre.
Both are above the average rent of €12.79 per square metre. Two-room flats (€12.21 per square metre), three-room flats (€12.05 per square metre) and four-room flats (€12.77 per square metre) were offered at a cheaper rate.
In Germany, a one-room flat is an apartment with the bedroom and living room combined. There is a separate bathroom, and usually a separate kitchen (although sometimes the one room can include the kitchen). A two-room flat consists of a living room and a separate bedroom.
According to the data, there were similar patterns in other medium-sized cities. In regions that are experiencing a decline in growth, however, one- and two-bedroom flats were particularly in demand and therefore more expensive than other types of flats.
A major issue in cities is that bigger flats are not being built as often as smaller apartments. This means families will struggle to find suitable homes, and the cost for the remaining flats will go up.
“We see that especially in big cities too few family-friendly flats are being built,” said Jan Grade, CEO of empirica regio.
“The real estate industry is currently often reacting to the growing number of households by completing single flats. The target group of families is in danger of being lost from view.
“In order to absorb the additional burden on singles and families, one-bedroom flats and large flats must become more affordable. This can only be done by increasing supply.”