Germany's Housing Policy at the Crossroads

Freie Universitdt Berlin, lnstitut fiir Wirtschaftspolitik

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Date Published 1993
Version discussion paper
Primary Author Franz Hubert
Other Authors
Theme Rental Housing
Country Germany


Compared to other European countries, housing policy in Germany has been favorable towards private rented housing. As a result, the private rented housing sector in Germany is large according to international standards. It appears to be 'healthy' in terms of housing quality and social profile of its occupants. However, during the late eighties housing shortage developed which lead to a brake-down of the broad political consensus on housing policy. A number of highly controversial temporary measures have been adopted attempting to tighten up tenure laws, to discourage condominium conversions, and to foster new construction by more generous tax{subsidies. The paper provides background information on the German housing system and gives a critical assessment of the recent policy shift.

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