Students have to dig deeper and deeper into their pockets for their rent. On average, rents for student apartments are 5.9 percent higher than in the previous year, according to the student housing report 2022 by the financial service provider MLP and the German Economic Institute, which was published on Wednesday. The rental prices have increased in all 38 university cities examined - in Berlin by as much as 18.5 percent.
In 2021, the average increase in these cities was still 1.5 percent - the pandemic had slowed the price trend. But the breather is over, according to the study makers. "Last year, the rents in many cities had even fallen - this development has now fizzled out without a trace," said MLP.
The prices increased the least in Freiburg (3.1 percent), Frankfurt and Darmstadt (3.5 percent each). However, Freiburg had already seen strong growth in the previous year with a rent increase of almost 6 percentage points.
Munich remains the most expensive place to study, where students have to shell out 787 euros for a 30-square-meter model apartment with normal furnishings near the university. Stuttgart has caught up with Munich and is almost on a par with 786 euros. In Berlin, students pay 718 euros for the model apartment. The cheapest place to live is in the east: In Chemnitz, the model student flat costs 224 euros in rent, in Magdeburg 303 euros and in Leipzig 383 euros. These are amounts for warm rents. In addition to the pure rental costs, ancillary costs of 20 percent were included.
Living in shared apartments has also become significantly more expensive: According to the study, students pay 545 euros for a 20-square-meter shared room in Munich, 487 euros in Berlin and 473 euros in Stuttgart. In Chemnitz, a comparable room costs 186 euros. The prices for such a model room have risen by 9.4 percent on a national average compared with the previous year.
Even the most recent BAföG increase cannot provide general financial relief, the MLP and the Institute of German Business said. The increased housing supplement of 360 euros in the BAföG maximum rate covers the rent for a student model apartment in only two university cities - namely in Chemnitz and Magdeburg. In Munich, students could pay just 17 square meters for the maximum surcharge.
"Due to the enormous increase in energy prices, demand is shifting toward smaller and less expensive apartments," explained Michael Voigtländer, a real estate expert at the Institute of the German Economy. "In addition, many people who previously wanted to buy condominiums are now looking for rental apartments because of sharp increases in interest rates. As a result, competition in the student housing market continues to intensify - with corresponding consequences for rental costs and supply."
In addition, inflation is placing a massive burden on students, according to the study. Due to a lack of financial reserves and low income, students are more affected by recent price increases than the average household. The median income of students has even worsened slightly recently (2020: 950 euros, 2018: 1000 euros). Many students are only just getting back on their feet financially after the Corona crisis and the loss of numerous student jobs, said MLP CEO Uwe Schroeder-Wildberg.
Photo by Erik Mclean