Greater demand: Real estate association: Housing needs not covered by new construction

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From the perspective of the Federal Association of German Housing and Real Estate Companies (GdW), enough new apartments are still not being built to meet the demand.

A total of around 293,000 units were completed nationwide last year, the association announced on Wednesday in Berlin. In order to keep up with the demand, around 320,000 were necessary. This means that demand exceeds supply by around eight percent.

In terms of social housing, the situation is even dramatic, said GdW President Axel Gedaschko. Here there is a «catastrophic shortage of demand of 32 percent». According to this, 25,600 social housing units were built last year. “But we need an average of 80,000 such apartments every year. We are miles away from that. »

So while only a fraction of what is necessary is built, 43,000 rental apartments fall out of social security at the same time every year. The stock shrank by 1.2 million social housing between 2002 and 2019.

“But that doesn’t mean that rents will immediately rise to the level of the rent index,” said Gedaschko. Municipal housing companies in particular are trying to keep rents low where apartments have fallen out of social ties.

The situation in Berlin is particularly bad. Just under 1800 social housing units were built here last year, about half as many as in the previous year.

Gedaschko sees one reason for the nationwide development in the high construction prices. These rose again in February before the Corona crisis by 3.5 percent compared to the same month last year. Prices have doubled in February over the past five years. “That is due to the occupancy rate,” he said.

“If we want to see something good in the Corona crisis, it is the momentum that orders are being placed more cautiously at some points, which will probably bring capacity utilization down in the short or medium term.” However, land prices have also risen dramatically in recent years, especially in areas where housing construction is urgently needed.

The GdW also called for a rethink in energy renovation. Since 2010, almost 342 billion euros have been invested in energy modernization measures for buildings. But final energy consumption stagnated between 2010 and 2018. “If we see these numbers, we cannot just go on as before,” said Gedaschko.

Meanwhile, the German Tenants’ Association criticized on Wednesday that protection against dismissal for tenants due to corona-related rental losses expired at the end of June and was not extended. “Hundreds of thousands of tenants can now be dismissed because of rent arrears, even if they are purely corona-related, despite continuing short-time work, unemployment and loss of income,” said the association.

According to the GdW, around 18.1 million euros in rental arrears accrued to its own member companies between April and June. 0.6 percent of all tenancies are affected. “Tenant applications only came to their housing company in 0.33 percent of all tenancies.”

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