Nearly 250,000 new homes were completed last year in Germany - as many as only back in 2006. However, despite the boom, the increasing need will not be covered, according to our German member, GdW.
The German Tenants' Association complained on the other hand that there is a lack of social housing for rent, especially in the middle and lower price levels in an article published in the German financial newspaper Handelsblatt on Monday, June 13th.
"Germany needs in the dense markets of the country more affordable housing for all. This situation is not new. Currently, the housing deficit in Germany amounted to a total of at least 800,000 homes. There are obvious reasons for this:
- There is no affordable land in combination with high construction costs and too little financial support.
- The internal migration within Germany and the high numbers of immigrants from around 1.4 million people in the years 2012 to 2014 - that have nothing to do with the current refugee situation - reinforce the need to expand the housing supply in densely populated regions", highlighted Axel Gedaschko, the president of GdW in an opinion piece on Immoclick24.de.
In absolute terms, Germany will be needing 400.000 new homes annually until 2020 or in other words 140.000 more homes than the ones that are currently being built, including 80.000 social housing units and 60.000 dwellings in the affordable housing segment. These apartments are missing especially in large cities, metropolitan areas and university towns.
"We build for all. For students, the elderly, single-parent families and for all people who come to us and have a right to stay. But we now need more than ever solutions for still existing barriers. First of all, planning and approval must be significantly faster and cheaper - for both new construction and for refurbishments. Secondly, the social care and labor inclusion of immigrants must be structured so that they can be an active part of our society", added Mr. Gedaschko.
GdW invests more and more in construction
Only last year GdW member companies (around 3.000 housing associations) invested more than 4.2 billion Euros in housing construction. This can be translated into an increase of about 400 million compared to 2014, while it equals to the construction of 17.400 new units.
This may be setting a new record, but Axel Gedaschko does not seem satisfied. A look back to the year 2000 shows namely the huge increase in construction costs. 16 years ago GdW companies had to spend on average only 1,739 euro / sqm living space (excluding land). This figure, however, has been increased in 2015 to 3,190 EUR / sqm. As far as the number of dwellings is concerned, the amount of investment would mean that the same amount of money in 2000 would produce 10 units, while last year only 7.8. "There is no way around it, we need to improve the conditions for the affordable housing construction," concludes Gedaschko and appeals to politicians to act quickly to counter the housing shortage in urban areas.