Berlin’s housing debate: Rising rents and housing shortages, how did we get here?

Photo by Jess Sweetman


Grace Dobush is a freelance journalist who has been reporting on housing issues for Handelsblatt Today. We caught up with her to find out more about how Berlin’s current housing situation, characterized by a lack of affordable housing and rising rents, came about.

Dobush looks at two key points in the changes to the housing market, globally and locally, in 2003, and again in 2007.

Dobush explains that while such issues of inflated rents and swelling city populations are affecting cities across the country, and indeed the world, the impact in Berlin can be felt more acutely because while: “prices of apartments in Berlin are still well under those in Munich or Dusseldorf or Hamburg…the percentage increase (in rent) over the past few years has been much stronger in Berlin, whereas wages have not risen nearly as quickly in Berlin as in these other cities.”


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