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Europe: rental shortages hit pre-pandemic levels

Rental prices in Europe have increased for all student accommodation types in the third quarter of 2021, according to HousingAnywhere.

Paris remains the most expensive city for apartments, and is showing increasing prices for all types of property. Photo: iStock

Major European cities, like Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin, are in especially dire situations

The international housing platform said in its Q3 2021 International Rent Index that while some increase in prices is to be expected – as this time of year is peak rental season for students – shortages in rental accommodation is “becoming painfully evident again”.

Apartments showed the steepest increases in price, which was affected by the reversal of the rental cap in Germany; Berlin apartment rental prices showed the sharpest increase at over 22%.

Amsterdam has seen the most notable increase in prices of studios – an average monthly bill of €1,176.95 shows over a 19% price hike year on year.

Paris remains the most expensive city for apartments, and is showing increasing prices for all types of property, with a year on year increase of almost 11.5%. The average price for an apartment is a staggering €1,957 in Q3 of the year.

“Undersupply of accessible rentals felt less severe in 2020 due to short-term rental properties becoming available for longer-term rental on top of global mobility restrictions,” said CEO of HousingAnywhere, Djordy Seelmann.

“We now see a reversal of this trend…shortages will become even more pressing once all travel restrictions are lifted, and municipalities should look for counteracting measures as soon as possible.”

Major European cities, like Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin, are in especially dire situations. Some students are even deferring their studies after being unable to find affordable accommodation.

“There is an urgent need for accessible housing for students and young professionals”

Apartments are also in higher demand due to the changing landscape, according to HousingAnywhere; which could be a result of “the shift in the usage of space due to the pandemic”.

The report added that study and work spaces are merging more and more, and social distancing is being “incorporated” into people’s lifestyles, apartments with that private space are becoming more popular, whatever the price.

“There is an urgent need for accessible housing for students and young professionals…we urge policy makers to critically assess current housing and rental policies to find solutions,” Seelmann added.

He noted that permit issues with new residential developments are not helping the situation – and that short-term holiday rentals, such as Airbnb, could also cause problems as restrictions ease.

“Governments should take action right now to prevent the residential housing stock from returning to the short-term holiday rental industry.”

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