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Berlin's New Rent-Control Law Probably Isn't Working After All

Rents fell for a while but now they’re up again. A new report examines why.
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Flickr / Jean-Marc Bolfing

About a month after the introduction of new rent-control laws across Berlin last June, the cost of new contracts for rental apartments across the city started going down. But while many cheered the news, a month is a pretty short span to judge a new law’s efficacy. Now that 2015 has drawn to a close, a new report from property firm CBRE finds that prices for new rental contracts in Berlin have in fact gone up.

Not by much. The year-on-year rise across the city for 2015 was 5 percent, a reduction on the previous year’s rise of 6.5 percent. Most of this rise, however, happened before the new rent law—called the Mietpreisbremse or “rent price brake”—emerged on June 1. After the law hit, new rents did fall for a few months, but according to the CBRE report, rents rose again in November and December.