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Christian Oberst / Michael Voigtländer Expertise 19. April 2020 Price effects in the residential property market due to the Covid-19 pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has a serious impact on social life and economic development in Germany. This report tries to give a first empirically based assessment of the consequences for the residential property market.

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Price effects in the residential property market due to the Covid-19 pandemic
Christian Oberst / Michael Voigtländer Expertise 19. April 2020

Price effects in the residential property market due to the Covid-19 pandemic

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German Economic Institute (IW) German Economic Institute (IW)

The Covid-19 pandemic has a serious impact on social life and economic development in Germany. This report tries to give a first empirically based assessment of the consequences for the residential property market.

Generally, property prices correspond to discounted rental income. Therefore, to determine the price, assumptions are required on future rents, risk premiums and interest rates. If expectations were already too optimistic (speculative bubble), prices should collapse in light of the pending economic shock. However, as shown by indicators on construction activity, borrowing and imputed housing costs, such speculative exaggeration cannot be seen on the German housing market. Nevertheless, the upcoming economic crisis will affect all three influencing factors. Still, a relevant reduction of the rent level seems unlikely, as experience from the past economic crisis has shown. Based on possible bankruptcies and increased unemployment, future rent expectations are likely to be reduced because households will overall have less income. This should have a negative impact on prices. Uncertainty is also growing, which will increase the risk premium and will be a burden on the purchase price. As benchmark for the current economic shock, the impacts on economic output during the financial crisis is chosen. However, long-term interest rates may drop even further. After all, the ECB significantly increases its bond purchases, and past pandemics have contributed to an increase in the accumulation of savings. In combination of these effects, slight price reductions or even a sideways movement can be expected for Germanys residential property market.

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Price effects in the residential property market due to the Covid-19 pandemic
Christian Oberst / Michael Voigtländer Expertise 19. April 2020

Christian Oberst / Michael Voigtländer: Preiseffekte im Wohnungsmarkt aufgrund der Covid-19 Pandemie

Gutachten im Auftrag der Deutsche Reihenhaus AG

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German Economic Institute (IW) German Economic Institute (IW)

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Pekka Sagner / Michael Voigtländer in International Journal of Housing Policy External Publication 6. May 2022

Supply side effects of the Berlin rent freeze

On 23 February 2020, the Berlin Senate introduced the Berlin rent freeze (‘Mietendeckel’). The law was repealed on 25 March 2021. The Berlin rent freeze was an unprecedented market intervention in the German housing market.

IW

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Pekka Sagner / Michael Voigtländer IW-Trends No. 3 20. August 2021

How the Berlin Rent Cap Affected Private Landlords

The effects of the Berlin rent cap on the city’s housing market were wide-reaching, with the supply of rental accommodation falling by more than half while the cap was in force.

IW

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