Economy

The German housing market is gradually heating up

The strong surge in housing prices continued in Q1 2016. The prices for owner-occupied homes rose on the year by 4.7 percent, the growth rate in multi-family dwellings was even more pronounced, at 8.0 percent. In the big cities, price increases cooled in the interim but have since picked up again, with owner-occupied flats becoming some 9 percent more expensive.  Neither the fact that prices have already rocketed nor the tangible expansion in residential construction were able to dampen the price hike. Four factors have driven this: Firstly, the basic economic conditions for the housing market are better than at most points in the past. Secondly, the interest rate slide results in lower mortgage payments, despite the increase in house prices.  Thirdly, rental returns that can be achieved in the housing market remain a much-sought alternative to the bond market. And fourthly, housing supply is still tight, as, despite the…

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