A tale of two cities’ housing crises: Dublin and Berlin
The German capital has become a minefield for renters and the problem is becoming increasingly politicized. But in the Irish capital, Dublin, the situation has developed into a full-blown housing crisis.
With more than 115,000 residential and commercial properties to its name in the German capital, Berlin, alone, Deutsche Wohnen is comfortably the city’s biggest landlord.
Those with shares in the company have had little cause for worry over the last decade — until a few weeks ago. News that the Berlin Senate had inched closer to imposing a five-year rent price freeze saw the company’s shares take a dramatic 14% tumble, their biggest two-day fall after 10 years of largely relentless growth.
It was merely the latest skirmish in Berlin’s ongoing battle over property.
Rents and property prices have been soaring in the German capital. In 2017, figures from property consultancy Knight Frank showed the city had the fastest-growing property prices in the world.
As a result, Berlin is not an easy city to rent in right now. Supply far outweighs demand and rents are rising fast. There is even growing support for a referendum to take place on whether property can be expropriated from large landlords and turned into social housing stock.