At the beginning of the week, there was actually good news for all those who are in despair of the chronically tense housing market: Something is happening, shows a new statistics, and especially where the situation is particularly dramatic. Especially in Hamburg, many urgently needed new apartments were finished, but also in Munich, Frankfurt and Berlin.
The sad news of this week's beginning is that of all things in the capital, the momentum is likely to suffer - if the responsible city development senator really makes her plans for a rent cover really serious. With the aim to set "a stop sign against speculation, for affordable rents and a social city", Katrin Lompscher (left) wants to prescribe in the metropolis more or less flat rate that in the future dwellings may not cost more than just under eight euros per square meter. A plan that is not only completely counterproductive in terms of housing policy, but also profoundly true.
The planned lump-sum requirement for a large part of the flats misses reality: a renovated old building in Berlin-Mitte, for example, is reasonably more expensive than a 2010-built property of the same size in a less central, less hip district like Berlin-Marzahn or Berlin -Hellersdorf. Even worse, however, is that the Senator wants to shake a far too far untouched principle - the grandfathering: To set their desired stop sign, it was "necessary to intervene in the existing rents," argues the politician - the plan, including existing rents Covering at 8 euros, the air could take the beautiful little construction boom in Berlin.
Short term on the rental price doktern brings nothing
Yes, the housing market is special. Unlike other markets, he needs the control of politics. Housing construction often finds it difficult to respond quickly to a sudden increase in demand due to long and capital-intensive forerunners. For this reason alone, policy makers are asked to plan ahead and mitigate any bottlenecks, for example, on social housing.
If, as in Berlindie, housing costs have almost doubled within a decade, and tens of thousands of apartments are missing, then something is actually going wrong in the real estate market. The free market economy alone will not be able to judge.
But instead of short-term doctrinal renting, the policy would have to start on the offer above all: If tenants can drive the rent to dizzying heights, that is mainly because the demand far exceeds the supply. This malady can only be resolved if more homes are built, be it by state funds or private investors.
Unfortunately, Lompscher is about to scare off those investors who are in dire need of poor Berlin. Especially in times of housing, more than ever, investors - large and small, businesses and private homebuyers - need to take risks and use their capital to generate more housing. So far, investors were sure that policy changes would affect the future, so at best, new buildings. Now they have to fear that even the plans for their already used money do not work anymore. What is perhaps even feasible for large housing companies, however, is likely to bring some private real estate buyers quickly to its limits.
The promised hardship rule for special cases also does not help much here. Because where exactly does the hardship begin? Example: a private person bought an apartment and rented it. Does she have to worry about her existence for a hardship case, because she suddenly can not pay the installments for the loan because of the rental cover with the rental income? Or does she also have the right to special treatment if she has put a clear legacy of her parents in a property in order to provide for her old age - but now would have to expect hefty discounts on a possible sale?
If investors have to reckon with the fact that key data promised by politicians can suddenly also be retroactively cashed in, they will also lose their appetite for an investment in Berlinschnell. Instead of renting a tenement in Berlin, many may prefer to invest their money in apartment buildings in Hamburg, Paris and London.
In addition, Lompscher's plan is unfair: If tenants are to be able to retroactively enforce a rental price cover in the future, this will also affect all those wealthy tenants who live in trendy neighborhoods hip apartments and can afford this luxury also very. In this respect, the rental price cover is also a kind of relief program for top Berlin earners. Ironically, the better earners, and the hand-made by a left-politician.