- Rents in the German capital of Berlin have doubled in the last decade alone, but Berliners are actually going to do something about it.
- Campaigners want the government to take apartments from real estate firms that own more than 3,000 apartments and place them into public ownership.
- A petition for a referendum on the plan to seize property from real estate firms in Berlin has already collected over 130,000 signatures.
“Like many cities around the world, rents in the German capital of Berlin have soared in recent years, doubling in the last decade alone.
But unlike many other cities, the people of Berlin are actually doing something about it.
First residents persuaded the local authorities to bring in a rent cap that instructed landlords to freeze rents at 2019 levels.
However, that was overturned by Germany’s federal court in April, which ruled the measures unconstitutional.
Now local campaigners are planning something even more radical: a bid to nationalize thousands of privately owned apartments in the city.
Specifically, campaigners want the government to take apartments from real estate firms that own more than 3,000 apartments, place them into public ownership, and rent them out at more affordable rates.
The estimated market value of the real estate in question is up to €36 billion ($44 billion), CityMonitor reported, but the group has suggested compensation of as little as €8 billion ($10 billion), arguing that the prices are based on speculation and overpriced rental yields rather than real value.
“The housing market in Berlin seems like paradise if you’ve lived in London or Paris,” Jonas Becker, a 30-year-old academic who lives in the German capital, told Insider.
“The housing market in Paris is absurd because you can’t find any affordable housing. But that’s an evolution we see in Berlin as well. The rising rents don’t correspond anymore to wages, and that’s something we want to address…”
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