Your own property, maybe a house with a garden, possibly outside the city?

Trapped in the pandemic loop, people are now dreaming of it, whose life plan has not yet included such a scenario.

But despite the longing for a home and the fact that loans are still cheap, 2021 was a pretty bad year for builders and buyers.

And the way things are, the question is whether the next one will be better.

Judith Lembke

Editor in the economy of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

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Birgit Ochs

Responsible editor for "Wohnen" of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

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Rents have been stagnating in many places for some time, but prices are different.

Houses and apartments are getting more and more expensive.

One of the reasons for this is that construction costs have literally exploded this year because important materials such as plastics, steel and wood were suddenly in short supply.

We remember: In the meantime, there was even downright panic on the wood market.

In the spring, many warehouses were empty, and at the same time the sawmills couldn't keep up with their work, and large-scale customers from overseas had partially booted out local buyers with top prices, who reacted by buying hamsters.

It was a mixed situation.

The consequences for building owners that continue to this day, however, are clear: those who build or refurbish new buildings pay more and have to be prepared for a longer construction period.

Construction costs have risen as they have not for 51 years

Data published in October by the Federal Statistical Office shows that the cost of building in Germany rose more sharply in 2021 than it has been in 51 years. In August of this year they increased by 12.6 percent compared to the same month last year. The shortage of wood and the sale of the material at top prices were the most extreme cost drivers. According to the federal statisticians, the prices for carpentry and wood construction soared by 46.5 percent. Concrete work went up by almost 15 percent, expansion work by 11 percent.

This makes it more difficult for private builders to finance construction and renovation projects, says Hans Peter Wollseifer, President of the Central Association of German Crafts (ZDH).

“2021 was certainly an exceptional year,” he states.

Many companies were faced with previously unknown challenges, as at times almost all building materials were very difficult to obtain and the price increases were historic.

This has "thrown the calculation of many building projects over the heap" - and had bitter consequences for some.

Broken dreams

Many builders returned their plots this year.

Young families in rural areas in particular, whose funding was already tight, had to say goodbye to their plans.

Because of the increased building prices, they could no longer afford their own home that seemed affordable just a few months earlier.

“A lot of dreams fell through,” reports a mayor from the Hunsrück, who has experienced this several times this year.

Instead, townspeople are now building in his village who have fled the high prices from the university town of Trier.

The competition for objects has arrived in the country.