The housing question is one of the central issues of our time, and events last week in Berlin underscored what’s at stake. In a much-anticipated ruling, Germany’s constitutional court in Karlsruhe ruled that Berlin’s Mietendeckel or rent cap was unconstitutional, and therefore null and void. The product of years of concerted organising by housing movements and leftwing parties in the city, the rent cap is wildly popular with Berlin’s tenants, who make up three-quarters of the city’s households. But it was hated by landlords, real-estate investors and members of Germany’s conservative political parties. The lawsuit against the cap was filed by 284 parliamentary members of the centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Christian Social Union (CSU), and the neoliberal Free Democrats (FDP).
In the German capital, economic gains and population growth are combining to put pressure on an undersupplied housing market.
German property prices jumped in the third quarter as record-low borrowing costs and housing shortages continued to push up demand for apartments in urban areas, data showed on Monday.
Proposal to counter rising housing costs still requires approval by state parliament
Rents in major European cities are continuing to level out, even in Barcelona, Berlin and Brussels which have recorded the steepest climb in rental prices year on year, the latest data shows.
Real estate agents aren’t well liked anywhere, but Germany’s really take the biscuit. Here, home-buyers often pay the commission of an agent hired by the seller and this can be as high as 7% (6% plus sales tax) of the purchase price. Who pays and how much varies by federal state.
Munich tops list of cities most in danger of property bubble. Hong Kong and London less risky as prices fall: UBS report.
A real-estate company owned by the Berlin government agreed to buy about 6,000 apartments for 920 million euros ($1 billion) from ADO Properties SA, as the administration responds to public outrage over surging rents.
"We still assess our industry's position as positive," Reinhard Quast, the head of Germany's ZDB construction industry group said in a statement, adding that the sector was currently the country's number one growth driver.
Shares in German real estate company Deutsche Wohnen surged about 10% on Friday as the Berlin city government revealed details of a planned rent cap that would still allow landlords to make moderate rent increases.
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