Affordable student housing is disappearing in Germany

The recently published Student Living Report 2022 has revealed how a combination of rising rents and inflation will hit students in Germany particularly hard.

Student rents up 5.9 percent in 2022

The report, published by the financial consulting companies MLP, looked at 38 locations in Germany and found that there has been an overall 5.9 percent increase in the rental cost of houses and apartments in the past year. This is a considerable jump compared to the 1.5 percent that was recorded in 2021.

The price of a shared room (WG-Zimmer) has increased by an overall 9.4 percent. According to the study’s researchers, these rises were concentrated in the beginning of 2022, meaning that many landlords have been using rising consumer costs as grounds to increase prices in rental contracts.

Some German cities are still affordable for students

So what German cities can students still afford to live in, without handing over almost all of their BAföG student loan and 450-euro mini-job salary to landlords before the month has barely begun? Magdeburg in Saxony-Anhalt and Dresden, Leipzig and Chemnitz in Saxony are all still places where it is possible to find accommodation for 400 euros or less per month. Currently, the most affordable student renting option in Germany would be a shared flat room in Chemnitz for an average of 186 euros per month.

Munich remained the most expensive city for students to live in, with an average student flat costing 787 euros per month. Stuttgart followed, costing a mere one euro less at 786 euros and then Berlin at 718 euros per month. The capital is where rents have risen the most sharply over the past year, at 18.5 percent.

Why are students being hit particularly badly by increased rents?

The MLP report stated that the number of houses in Germany rented out as shared flats has been sinking as bigger properties are increasingly let out to other population groups, rather than students. On top of this, the report expects that students will be hit particularly hard by rent increases as their often low incomes mean they cannot afford to save money.

Recent government policies have attempted to soften the blow of recent rising costs in Germany, but students seem to have been left behind. Since many already hold a public transport ticket funded by their semester fees, the popular 9-euro ticket wasn’t as money saving for students as it was for many other groups in Germany – the same goes for the fuel rebate. While BAföG student loan rates are set to increase, the amount is not sufficient to offset inflation and only 20 percent of students in Germany receive the loan.

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