Inflation is likely to affect rental prices as well, according to Vonovia, Germany’s largest real estate company. This calls for the SPD to plan.
Representatives of the left wing of the SPD want state intervention to protect tenants against rent increases caused by inflation.
“Vonovia and other real estate companies regularly show that they have dollar signs in their eyes and are acting completely irresponsibly,” said SPD Democratic Left Forum (DL21) co-chair Sebastian Roloff, of Handelsblatt.
However, housing is “one of the social problems of our time.” Therefore, the state must intervene if there is a significant imbalance in the market: “Temporary rent freeze, municipal pre-emptive rights and deprivatization of property groups are necessary and appropriate measures that are currently required.”
The triggers are the statements by the head of the largest German real estate group, Rolf Buch. In an interview with Handelsblatt, he said: “If inflation remains steadily at four percent, rents will have to rise accordingly in the future.” In an interview, Buch answered the question “What do tenants of Vonovia’s 500,000 apartments need to prepare for?” he replied. A spokeswoman for Vonovia stressed, however, that the statements were about economic development and not about a specific announcement.
SPD leader Klingbei talks about the national effort
SPD leader Lars Klingbeil called the rent increases irresponsible because of inflation. “We are now being asked to act together as a country in this difficult situation,” Funke told media group. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) sat down with employers and trade unions to find the best path together: “This is a national effort.” Jusos chairwoman Jessica Rosenthal told Handelsblatt: “Housing is a human right and must never be the subject of speculation.”
However, FDP deputy chairman Wolfgang Kubicki warned against intervention. “We need more housing, not more state intervention,” he told Handelsblatt. “Nationalization of real estate groups does not create one apartment, but only means transferring scarce living space to other hands.”
The head of the SPD’s workers’ wing, Cansel Kiziltepe, does not share this assessment. “Housing companies are inventing something without being able to explain to what extent inflation should have an impact on the cost of existing housing,” said the parliamentary secretary of state at the Federal Ministry of Construction.
The chairman of the community of Haus und Grund owners, Kai Warnecke, also explained that “not all cost items develop in line with inflation”. There is no “automatism” that rents would have to rise worldwide in the event of higher inflation. (dpa)