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Berlin authorities again approve fewer apartments

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Bad news from the Berlin-Brandenburg Statistics Office: Berlin’s building supervision authorities approved a total of 18,716 apartments in 2021. That’s 8.5 percent less than the previous year. This is the fifth year in a row that the number has decreased. Most of the approved apartments are new buildings (17,005), the decrease here is 5.9 percent compared to 2020.

In addition, more than a quarter of the new buildings planned and approved are condominiums: 4,465. Although fewer new buildings were approved, the costs owed amounted to €5.9 billion. This corresponds to an increase of 5.1 percent compared to the previous year. The plus with a simultaneous reduction in the number of apartments suggests the increase in construction costs in residential construction.

The number of newly approved apartments is considered to be indicative of the number of new apartments completed some two years later. In the last legislative period, the construction administration, led by the left, benefited from the increasing number of apartments completed. These had been initiated by the previous Senate, the grand coalition. In Sebastian Scheel’s (left) last year in office, the number of newly built apartments plummeted because too few new buildings were approved by the left.

The director of Berlin’s largest housing association, the BBU, Maren Kern, described the decline in the number of new buildings as an “echo of the difficult new construction climate of the last Berlin legislature”. What is required is “the acceleration of planning processes, the digital strengthening of the administration, the expansion of the transport network, more affordable building land, also for cooperatives.”

The fact that Governor-Mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) made the new building the boss’s business is a very important first step. The BBU is based on the “Alliance for New Homes and Affordable Homes” that is currently being negotiated.

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“The red-red-green coalition only managed the situation instead of taking immediate action and making improvements. If this policy continues like this, it will hardly be possible in the future to realize the around 200,000 apartments that are urgently needed by 2030” . said the spokesman for housing policy of the FDP parliamentary group, Stefan Förster. The last five years of R2G have had “far-reaching effects” on the construction and housing sector.

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