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In Germany's Priciest Cities, Renters Should Finally Get Some Relief

After climbing sharply for years, housing costs are guaranteed to drop in Berlin, according to a new report.
An apartment building in Hamburg's Schanzenviertel neighborhood.
An apartment building in Hamburg's Schanzenviertel neighborhood.Martin Abegglen/Flickr

Germany’s biggest cities will soon see something that seemed impossible not so long ago: The steady increase in rents will grind to a halt— and possibly even start to reverse course. That’s the prediction from Germany’s real estate industry trade association, ZIA, in a report released Tuesday.

Amid a real estate slowdown in Germany’s seven largest cities, ZIA predicts that the cost of new rental contracts will soon slide in Berlin and Munich, and possibly in Hamburg as well. Legally permitted rent increases on existing contracts should follow soon after, and within five years, the cost of buying a home in these cities could drop sharply, although the report does not predict by how much. This drop is guaranteed in Berlin, highly likely in Munich, and possible in Hamburg and Frankfurt, according to the report.