Berlin among Europe's priciest cities for renting after rent cap abolished

Berlin among Europe's priciest cities for renting after rent cap abolished

A new study has named Berlin as one of the most expensive cities for rental housing in Europe, after registering a year-on-year price increase of nearly 40 percent for one-bedroom apartments. 

Rental prices rising across Europe

The International Rent Index, a quarterly report published by the rental platform HousingAnywhere, looked at nearly 125.000 properties advertised on the platform between October and December 2021 and compared prices to previous quarters and years. 

Overall, the report revealed a “continuing trend of increasing rents” for all housing types, with apartments showing the steepest increase. The analysis also showed that prices had increased sharply in the last quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. “Once again, lack of available and accessible housing is dictating prices,” the report concluded. 

Prices in Berlin up by 40 percent in aftermath of rent cap

While prices increased pretty much across the board in 2021, it was one German city that showed an astonishingly sharp increase: Berlin. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2020, prices for housing in the capital rose by a “staggering” 39,47 percent in Q4 2021, to an average of 1.393 euros for a one-bedroom apartment. 

Also in Germany, the city of Hamburg showed the second-biggest price increase in the index, with apartment prices rising by 21,3 percent year-on-year. Prices also rose sharply in Reykjavik (20,43 percent), Vienna (16,74 percent) and Milan (14,45 percent) - but nowhere so quickly as in Berlin, which rose to claim its place as the sixth-most expensive city in Europe. 

The report’s authors explained the steep rise in the capital was the largely predictable outcome of the rent cap, which was overturned in early 2021. Overall, these kinds of interventions were rated poorly by the report. 

Report critical of interventions like rent caps

“We see availability, accessibility and affordability as the foundation for a more sustainable rental ecosystem,” said Djordy Seelmann, CEO of HousingAnywhere. “Short-term reliefs, such as rent caps and regulations, are not sustainable and can even be counterproductive in the long term by adding risk to residential investment.” 

Recognising the housing crisis is not an isolated issue in Berlin or even Germany, but something affecting major cities across Europe, and HousingAnywhere called for urgent action to be taken in order to ensure affordable housing for all. Measures advocated by the platform included revamping existing properties and developing new ones, and protecting the housing stock and preventing them from being used for the tourist rental market. 

The most expensive cities in Europe for renting

According to HousingAnywhere’s International Rent Index by City, these were the most expensive cities for renting an apartment in quarter four of 2021: 

  1. Paris - 1.964 euros
  2. London - 1.850 euros
  3. Amsterdam - 1.641 euros
  4. Helsinki - 1.481 euros
  5. Utrecht - 1.445 euros
  6. Berlin - 1.393 euros
  7. Rotterdam - 1.386 euros
  8. Milan - 1.306 euros
  9. The Hague - 1.295 euros
  10. Munich - 1.289 euros

For more information on the ranking, visit the HousingAnywhere website.



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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