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European rentals “less affordable, accessible”

Almost all types of rental property in cities across Europe are at a “higher price point” than a year ago, according to accommodation marketplace HousingAnywhere.

The most notable increase on the continent was the price apartments in Berlin, with a hike of 40% compared to the same time frame in 2020. Photo: Pexels

Cities are competing for talent, while talents are competing for housing

Apartments are showing the steepest increase in prices, with studios “catching up fast”, in a continuing trend in the company’s International Rent Index Report for Q4 2021.

“Cities are competing for talent, while talents are competing for housing,” said HousingAnywhere CEO Djordy Seelmann.

“This calls for stakeholders, such as municipalities, universities, property developers and technology providers to work together in finding both short-term and long-term solutions for the housing crisis that troubles Europe,” he continued.

The most notable increase on the continent was the price apartments in Berlin, with a hike of 40% compared to the same time frame in 2020.

The news comes after Q3 also saw an increase in prices of all accommodation types.

One method that was used to tackle the difficulty that comes with these increases was to begin regulating rental markets using pricing caps to achieve affordability – however, this is not yielding the “desired results”.

Berlin abolished its rent cap – Mietendeckel – earlier this year, and a backlash is evident through a steep increase in apartment pricing and a lack of available and accessible housing, which, in turn, is dictating prices.

“We see availability, accessibility and affordability as the foundation for a more sustainable rental ecosystem,” Seelmann explained.

“Short-term reliefs, such as rent caps and regulations, are not sustainable and can even be counterproductive in the long-term by adding risk to residential investment. This can have a negative impact on availability and accessibility,” he added.

He went on to say that the rental market is in need of a “stronger, long-term vision” in achieving a rating known as Triple A: available, affordable and accessible.

“We see availability, accessibility and affordability as the foundation for a more sustainable rental ecosystem”

In specific countries, Spain is showing a strong quarterly increase after the preliminary draft of a new housing policy was given the green light – questions have subsequently arisen whether “such a complex set of measures is the best solution” to tackle the cause of the crisis: a lack of supply in the market.

The Netherlands, however, seems to be slowing down, just as the market in the country is “anticipating municipal-level policy changes”. Despite the slow on the quarterly increase, however, the year-on-year increase is still “very prominent”.

The report concludes that the housing shortage is by “no means a problem of any specific city or country”, but a matter of concern across Europe and possibly the world.

“We should be prioritising co-creation and cooperation, as global talents are postponing or even cancelling their international education and career plans because they cannot find proper housing,” Seelmann added.

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