Berlin's renters face more misery as housing crisis deepens

Discussion in 'Western Europe' started by kazenatsu, Nov 20, 2023.

  1. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    As the population in Germany's big cities grow from immigration coming from other parts of the world, it is leading to housing shortages, and rents are going up.

    This is going to make the German people poorer, and many will not be able to live in Berlin.

    Berlin's renters face more misery as housing crisis deepens

    On Berlin's broad avenues, posters put up by desperate would-be tenants seeking accommodation have become a common sight. Home viewings draw long lines of hopefuls, despite rent rises that have far outstripped salaries in recent years.

    The German capital, where cheap and abundant apartments were a magnet for artists and young professionals as recently as a decade ago, now has a vacancy rate of less than 1%. The cost and difficulty of renting is making it hard to attract talent and forcing some residents to leave, even though businesses are desperate for skilled labour.

    Rolf Buch, chief executive of Vonovia, Europe's largest landlord, cited record-high interest rates and rent controls as factors responsible for the mismatch between housing supply and demand.

    As Europe's largest economy teeters near recession, economists warn that high rents will feed inflation and reduce household consumption.

    About 85% of Berliners rent their homes, far more than the 53% for Germany as a whole, and the 30% average within the European Union.

    In 2004, the City of Berlin sold its indebted GSW social housing unit and more than 65,000 apartments, many vacant or needing renovation, to Goldman Sachs and private equity firm Cerberus.
    The city's population started growing again in 2005, as birth rates and life expectancy rose and migration increased. Foreigners now make up 24% of residents, their numbers having almost doubled between 2011 and 2023, Berlin statistics office data shows.

    A German law that limits how often a landlord can increase prices keeps rents low for long-term tenants compared with new arrivals and gives them little incentive to move.​

    Berlin's renters face more misery as housing crisis deepens, Maria Martinez and Riham Alkousaa, Reuters, November 15, 2023

    related threads:
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    Looks like the standard of living in Germany is going down...
    Highrise housing projects in Germany going bankrupt
     
  2. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    this is crap....when I was living in Germany in the 80s/90s getting a flat in Berlin was impossible...same for Munich and Hamburg (where I lived) and most of the other major cities...why...because people liked to live close to their workplaces and didn't want to commute too far and young professions liked to live in/near to the city centres where the social life was vibrant and fun. It was the same as you followed the S-Bahn or U-Bahn routes out of the town, if you were on a good commuter route these were sought after locations for professionals as well...I doubt it's changed.
    Rent controls were great for long term renters our Hausmeister lived 2 floors below us we both had 250ms flat but his rent was a fraction of ours...he'd been there since the flats were built in the early 70s!! The point being it protects the older people. Rents for flats coming onto the market were always going up in line with the local wages...not rocket science...the article is nothing new and bollocks all to do with "immigration"...this was the same old crappy rightwing balls that was written 30/40 years ago and it was crap then and it's crap now.
     
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  3. Melb_muser

    Melb_muser Well-Known Member Donor

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    Big city, big rent.

    So funny when anti-immigrant rants come from (based on Avatar and user-name) those who are of immigrant stock themselves.

    As long as it's not a huge demographic and all at once I'm all for immigration. Brings fresh blood, ideas and willing young labour to where it is needed.
     
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  4. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    yeah...amazing huh.....:D....who'd of thought it!!
     
  5. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    oh yeah....and another issue.....as you know when you move into a district/area whatever, in Germany you have to register, you register at Einwohnermeldeamt where, once you work your way through the byzantine collection of forms and unco-operative "beamters", you have to give a lot of personal information, your nationality and status etc etc...I was an immigrant because I was a UK Passport holder living and working in Hamburg....based on the number of professional EU citizens, Brits, Americans, etc living and working in Germany you'd expect a significant ex-pat population in the major cities...in fact we had a massive Brit ex-pat community in Hamburg we even had our own supermarket and a couple of video rental shops. We'd meet on Sundays in the Stadt park and have baseball games against the Yanks and Rugby matches against the various UK military units stationed not far away. Anyway....
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2023
  6. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Large scale immigration is pushing rent price levels higher in the big cities.

    Some people are okay with that and think it's great. But for anyone who thinks that, I don't want to hear you complain about high rent costs.
     
  7. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    professional people living and working in "big cities" are pushing up rents...idiotic statements like "Immigrants are pushing up rents" verge on the banal....as are the people pushing the agenda....but hey that's easier than facing reality.
     
  8. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    People aren't okay with it....young professionals are being fleeced by landlords...but it as absolutely f**kall to do with immigrants....!!
    It's Supply and Demand....the closer to the city the higher the rent as the higher the potential wage earners....
     
  9. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    And you don't think the supply and demand is affected by large scale immigration?

    It's an indisputable fact that all of the population growth in Western countries like Germany is being fueled by immigration from foreign parts of the world.
    If it wasn't for that, the overall total population of Germany would be declining.
    In 2020, the statistics show that the average German woman is only giving birth to 1.59 children during her lifetime. (a rate of 2.1 is required to prevent population decline)
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2023
  10. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    in the major cities...no....you would always have the up and coming wanting to live in the major cities because its' where the best jobs are and where highest wages are the best cinemas and shops and and and. Look at what happened in Canary Wharf...it was a wasteland...then they built a financial district on it; Banks/Traders/Accountants and then they built the flats and housing estates and a light railway to access it and roads and an airport...and guess what....all those that worked there moved there and you can't get flats there now for love nor money....so did Immigrants and immigration cause that current lack of housing? No they did not. Planners and developers created the opportunity and caused the demand because they create the infrastructure for businesses to thrive who in tern attract the critical mass of professional people to make it work.

    Guess what! Berlin is full of politicians and lobbyists and legal firms and banks and insurance companies and hotels and high end shopping centers etc to cater for all these people....and guess what....the Politicians and bankers and brokers and underwriters and lawyers all want to live there.....what has immigration got to do with that? Nothing. Over the past 40 years after the fall of the wall, Berlin has been flattened and re-built. The German government moved from Bonn to Berlin so what did the developers do...they catered for a massive influx of wealthy people by catering for that demand.

    You're sitting there moaning.... constantly moaning about immigrants this and immigrants that....please don't pretend to hide behind some thin veneer of concerned citizen.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2023
  11. Pro_Line_FL

    Pro_Line_FL Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Immigrants can't afford sky-high real estate in Berlin, so I'm not sure why you threw that it there as the reason.

    According to who, or what? Berlin has had a very tight supply of housing for decades, and most people are renters, and a rent for 1 200sqft apartment will cost you almost $10 000 per month, which is way out of reach for the average immigrant.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2023
  12. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I don't think you understand how things actually work. One of the ironies--paradox you might even be able to call it--is that immigrants typically are concentrated into higher cost big city areas.

    One of the reasons for this is that because the native working class becomes priced out of those areas, it creates a vacuum, with unfilled jobs open to immigrants. Of course they struggle because the costs of housing and rent are so high compared to the pay from lower level jobs.
    In many cases immigrants crowd together into small housing spaces. So even though they might each individually earn less, three income earners in a home can still earn more than one income earner can.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2023
  13. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    This is inaccurate. Did you read the article?

    People like you tend to ignore the statistics and the facts.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2023
  14. Pro_Line_FL

    Pro_Line_FL Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I love facts, while you throw in speculation and pretend its a fact like "the immigrants did this".

    They have had a tight supply and now rents are going up fast, which is true in many places, including down here in South Florida. In Berlin rents have increased 85% since 2007, so its not new, and investors are the cause for the increase, not immigrants as you are trying to claim.

    Even your own article simply states the problem is worsening, not that its something new. It has been worsening for a long time.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2023
  15. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    You seem to have a dim grasp on economics. Investors can't typically drive up the price unless there is an increase in demand relative to supply.

    Otherwise, what reason do you think there could be for investors deciding to drive up prices later rather than before? (No, it's not just "greed". That is a stupid answer. Investors have always wanted to maximise profits)

    I'd suggest you step back and take a bigger look at the flow of people. The people moving to Florida are typically coming from California and New York, two places that have gotten a high amount of immigration from foreign countries. So it could be said that immigration has created a ripple effect.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2023
  16. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    If you look at a graph you can see that immigration levels to Germany really started increasing after around 2009. And before that they spiked from about 1989 to 1995.

    42% of Berlin's current population was not born in Germany. (Non-citizens make up 22%, while citizens with migrant background make up 48%)
    53.8% of the city's present population came from outside the city. (Meaning that 11.8% came from another part of Germany)
    (according to this source: Council of Europe: Berlin Neuk├Âlln, Germany - Intercultural City , under Population Diversity )
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2023
  17. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Please try to use logic. If you continue to add immigrants, even if immigration levels go down, the problem will get worse.

    Your statements are logically and mathematically meaningless, unless we look at the numbers by year, like graphs, and try to see if it looks like there might be some correlation.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2023
  18. Melb_muser

    Melb_muser Well-Known Member Donor

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    YOUR unproven theory.
     
  19. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I don't think you understand how "proof" works in economics.
    Would you be able to "prove" it's not true, for example?

    I guess if something is "too complicated" to think about or be able to have absolute certainty about, we just ignore it, huh?

    You believe in that "global warming" stuff, don't you? Do you really think there is more "proof" for that than for this?
    (You don't have to answer that, just give it some honest thought)
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2023
  20. Melb_muser

    Melb_muser Well-Known Member Donor

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    I think what you are asking me to do is prove that your theory doesn't work? Is this how debate works?
    We also need evidence.
    Yes.

    Here is an alternative theory. There are more wealthy people in the cities, that's why rents are so high. People are able to pay those high amounts. Prove it wrong?
     
  21. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I've given you plenty of evidence. What you seem to want is something that there is no possibility of providing in this situation.
    In economics, how do we prove that one thing causes another?
     
  22. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    People "being able to pay" obscures the actual issue. Lower income people are "able to pay", it's just that a much larger share of their small income would go towards rent, and they would live in "housing poverty", with not much leftover.
    Low income German people probably could live there, theoretically, if they really wanted. It's just that few German people would put up with that situation. It would be very financially difficult, and their lifestyle would be reduced to a very miserly one, as if their income were much lower than it is.

    I'm sure wealthy people do explain part of the reason why rents are high in big cities, especially areas that are undergoing gentrification, but that is only part of the reason.
    That still doesn't really explain housing shortages though. You're not going to dispute that housing shortages are a big part of what's driving up rents, are you?
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2023
  23. gnoib

    gnoib Well-Known Member

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    No, most of the immigrants are housed by the governments and not by the free market. Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich and so on have always been rather expensive.
    Yes since Berlin became Capital the influx of people has overwhelmed its housing market. 10 thousands government workers, plus the service industry and its workers, what can one expect, housing is at its premium.
    With Brexit Frankfurt became one of the EU Banking Centers, thousands of bankers and the service companies came to Frankfurt, what do you expect, cost for housing went through the roof.
    So now housing construction has a minor problem, interest rates, no construction.

    Its great if you have cash, because nothing sells, first class buyers market. Which I took advantage of, lately.

    If the German population is declining, by your logic immigrants should be able to find housing, same for Germans.
     
  24. gnoib

    gnoib Well-Known Member

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    But Germany has had a housing shortage for at least 20 years, especially low income housing
     

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