Homeownership remains the best way to prepare for your retirement. This is the upshot of the fifth edition of the ACCENTRO Housing Cost Report. It is still more affordable to buy than to rent almost anywhere in Germany. The average economic benefit of homeownership nationwide is 48.5 percent. Even in the country’s metropolises, where condominium prices experienced particularly brisk growth in recent years, homeownership retains its economic benefits. Owner-occupancy in Berlin, for instance, is currently about 35 percent more affordable than renting, while being 43 percent more affordable in Hamburg. This is explained by the combination of rental growth and the still highly favourable conditions on the market for mortgage loans.
The latest edition of the survey identified several reasons why homeowners pay less for housing than tenants. As a result of the drop in mortgage interest, the anyway very low costs for homeownership have decreased even further. Although selling prices have continued to go up, the price growth is more than offset by the savings implied by the interest rate cuts. Tenants simply lose out on this interest advantage.
The conclusion is therefore that the body politic should continue to support people’s bid for homeownership. Conceivable political measures to help prospective buyers come up with the required equity capital include, for instance, government-guaranteed subordinated loans and a reform of the real estate transfer tax. This would lower the threshold specifically for low- and middle-income households. At the same time, the survey reveals that private landlords are found in all population cohorts, including households with comparatively low income levels.