How to Solve a Problem Like Housing in Germany

Housing markets are pretty crazy around the world right now, but in Germany’s major cities, the situation is next level. Demand for rental properties is massively outstripping supply, meaning competition is fierce and rents have seen their largest year-on-year increase in 20 years.

While this is a significant challenge, it's certainly possible to succeed - PerchPeek does it every day (and in other difficult markets too)! Here we’ll walk through why the German market is so tough, and our top five tips for success.

The key challenges

So why is it now so difficult for assignees to find a rental property in Germany?

●     Unprecedented immigration

Germany welcomed over one million Ukrainian and Russian refugees in 2022, resulting in even higher competition for the already scant supply of homes in major German cities.

●     Business hub boom

More and more enterprises are opening German hubs, such as Tesla’s new Gigafactory in Berlin - while great for the economy, it also puts more pressure on the rental market!

●     Complex bureaucracy

Assignees need to prepare various bits of paperwork to secure accommodation, some of which can be hard to obtain and can cause a lot of friction in the house-moving process.

The problem in figures

●     A one-bed flat in Berlin or Munich costs €1,700-€2,000 per month, up 7-10% YoY

●     Property listings stay online for 3-5 days in Munich, and just 1-2 days for Berlin!

●     For every 50-75 applications sent, assignees are only invited to 1-2 viewings

●     Landlords often invite 20+ applicants to view their property (sometimes all at once!)

While it’s undoubtedly challenging to secure a property in these tough conditions, it’s certainly not impossible - PerchPeek successfully relocated over 900 assignees to Germany in 2022!

Here’s how you can ensure success in one of the world’s toughest rental markets.

Five tips for home-finding success

1 - Prepare assignees for unaccompanied (but not unsupported!) viewings

The market moves so quickly in German cities, assignees need to be able to attend viewings at a moment’s notice - it just isn’t feasible to wait for a local consultant for accompaniment. Check out why unaccompanied viewings mean greater success in challenging rental markets here.

2 - Manage expectations around temporary accommodation

PerchPeek’s Germany experts recommend a minimum three-month stay in temporary housing. While companies don’t necessarily need to fund this length of stay, they do need to make sure assignees are expecting it. Planning for a longer stay helps avoid costly last-minute extensions.

3 - Use an unlimited support model

Germany’s rental market is purely a numbers game. The only way to succeed is by maximising reach in terms of viewings and applications - not possible when support is time-limited! Using an unlimited relocation support model means being able to persevere until the task is achieved.

4 - Impart a touch of realism

Finding a home in Berlin or Munich is difficult; finding a dream home there is nigh-on impossible! It’s crucial to align with assignees from the start on realistic budget, locations and other criteria. This way, expectations are managed and the net can be widened, leading to greater success.

5 - Combine tech solutions and the human touch

Tech-driven relocation solutions mean a broader range of the latest property listings can be sent to assignees instantly, while the support of local relocation experts is invaluable for market novices! While both can work well on their own, combining them is the fastest way to succeed.

Latest Germany market news

Keen to find out more about the hottest housing market news and trends in Germany, plus other updates affecting relocating employees and global mobility leaders?

Check out PerchPeek’s latest Germany Market Monthly update here!

Back to Resources

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