In spite of a national decline in the rate at which building permits were issued in Germany in 2012, the German real estate association IVD sees the figure in a positive light. "Especially in the cities and counties with more than 500,000 inhabitants, the building permits of dwellings increased by 22.4%" said Jens-Ulrich Kiessling (pictured), president of the IVD. About one third or 34,949 of all building permits for dwellings are accounted for the major cities, compared to the previous year where urban areas saw 28,557 or 27.3% of the building permits. "Building is happening where the demand is greatest," said Kiessling.
IVD cautions that building development could be stifled by politics. Cap limits and rent limits for the new tenants would stop the much-needed new building. "The discussion of tighter regulation of rental markets unsettled many investors, and will ensure that investment decisions are postponed," says Kiessling. "The housing industry needs a reliable framework to support the market."
Among cities with the largest absolute increase in newly permitted dwellings are Hamburg (+2,540 permits), Berlin (+2,195 permits) and Dusseldorf (+612 permits). Munich and Cologne saw a decrease in permits.