Rents in Berlin: back of the envelope

From The Local

29 Jan 09 10:58 CET

More Germans rent their homes than anywhere else in Europe, but it‘s not such an affordable option as it once was, according to a new study released on Thursday by real estate association IVD.

“The section of the population that owns their homes is just 43 percent, the lowest rate in Europe,” IVD said after comparing average rents in 390 German cities, adding that renting is often “not the most affordable option” anymore. German households spend an average of 35 percent of their post-tax income on rent, IVD found. “On an international scale the rent in Germany is low,” IVD Vice President Jürgen Michael Schick said in the study. But all German households have been burdened with a “drastic” increase in utility costs, which is the main factor behind rising rents in general. Heating bills have increased by an average of 38 percent, meanwhile water has increased by 20 percent. Popular and chic neighbourhoods are naturally experiencing higher increases, a sign of growing demand for city dwellings where fewer new construction projects are being undertaken, Schick said. Munich, in the wealthy state of Bavaria, has the highest average rents at €9.70 per square metre for an apartment built after the war measuring around 70 square metres. The country’s second highest rents are found in Stuttgart, home of industrial giants Daimler, Porsche and Bosch, with an average of €8.70 per square metre. Berlin, popular with starving artists, remains the cheapest big city in the country with rents some two-thirds lower than Munich’s average at €5.90 per square metre. The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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