A clear majority of German citizens would welcome it if the federal states and municipalities could regulate rents more closely.
Almost 61 percent are in favor of a nationwide regulation that allows regional rent caps, as shown in a representative survey by the opinion research institute Civey on behalf of the online broker Homeday (which, like WELT, belongs to Axel Springer SE).
Specifically, the question was: "Would you like that, after the Federal Constitutional Court has overturned the Berlin rent cap, a federal regulation will be adopted that allows regional rent caps?"
Source: WORLD infographic
Almost half of all respondents even answered this question with “Yes, definitely”, and almost twelve percent said “more or less yes”.
Only a good 30 percent, on the other hand, rejected a regional design of nationwide tenancy law.
Civey interviewed 3,655 and 4,596 people, respectively, on April 16 and 17.
According to pollsters, the statistical error is between 2.5 and 3.9 percent.
The Civey survey also made a distinction between property owners and tenants.
Not surprisingly, around 69 percent of tenants would like stricter rules on site.
Source: WORLD infographic
It is interesting, however, that even more than half of property owners (50.6 percent) would welcome regional rent caps, while 39 percent of them would vote against it.
There is one point where the survey should be interpreted with caution: Many German citizens are unlikely to be aware of the details of the Berlin rent cap.
Not all of the respondents would have known that the relevant law also included a reduction in existing rents to a lower table value.
Property owners who do not rent out are also unlikely to be familiar with the consequences of stricter regulation.
It is more likely that most German citizens understand the term “rent cap” to mean a general slowdown or a general cap on rising prices.
If, on the other hand, the Berlin variant of the rent cap is asked more directly, the agreement is lower.
Rather, the Civey survey shows a clear division in society: around 43 percent of Germans see the judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court last Thursday as positive.
42 percent rate it as negative.
Source: WORLD infographic
"The constitutional court ruling brings legal certainty," says Steffen Wicker, founder and director of Homeday.
However, the survey also shows that many citizens perceive the price development in some regions as problematic.
"The fact that a clear majority of Germans and even 51 percent of owners want a federal regulation on the rent cap shows the great importance that the topic of affordable living space has", says Wicker, "Although the rent cap has tipped in Berlin, it is not off the table will, in my opinion, be a central topic in the federal election campaign. "
Most economists are of the opinion that one should not regulate further, but simply wait until enough new construction has been built and the price increase in existing rental apartments is slowed down again.
But there are other voices too.
Günter Vornholz, Professor of Real Estate Economics at the ECB Business School in Bochum, draws attention to the long periods of time that the real estate market needs to balance interests: “One of the characteristics of the housing market is that supply and demand only ever react to one another with a time lag “, So Vornholz in an analysis from the weekend.
“This leads to cyclical developments in rents with, in some cases, significant rental growth.
Against this background, it is understandable that politicians feel compelled to intervene in the market.
Their goal is to protect tenants from excessive rent increases. "
Restrained rent increase due to more completions
Especially in the SPD, voices for stricter rent regulation were again loud at the weekend. The Berlin SPD chairwoman, Federal Family Minister Franziska Giffey, said: “The task of protecting tenants really effectively against excessive rents must be tackled at the federal level.” From her point of view, the development of rents must be monitored on the basis of the current rent index.
Even in the housing industry one is open to certain tightening of the existing tenancy law.
Last year, the Association of Berlin-Brandenburg Housing Companies (BBU) advocated a reduction in the cap limit in a "tenancy law offensive": In current tenancies, it is sufficient if the rent is not increased by 15 or 20, but only by ten percent could be increased.
The rent brake price threshold could drop from ten to five percent above the local comparative rent.
350 housing companies are organized in the BBU, including six state-owned housing associations in Berlin, most of the cooperatives and also Deutsche Wohnen, the largest private landlord in the capital with 110,000 apartments.
Interior Senator Geisel - "I can understand displeasure, but not this violence"
Andreas Geisel, Berlin's Senator for the Interior, speaks in an interview with WELT reporter Ibrahim Naber about the riots after the ruling on the Berlin rent cap.
He says that the social division in the city leads to "increasingly harder differences".
Source: Ibrahim Naber / David Körzdörfer