Homes in Germany continue to get bigger each year
Despite rapidly-rising prices on the housing market, homes in Germany are continuing to get bigger and bigger. On average, the amount of living space per person increases by one square metre every five years. Although the pace is much faster in rural areas, the increase is noticeable in German cities as well.
Homes in Germany taking up more and more space
On average, people in Germany had more spacious houses and apartments in 2020 than they did five years earlier, according to a new study by the real estate service provider Empirica Regio. Despite the ongoing housing crisis, between 2015 and 2020, living space per capita increased by 3,7 percent in rural regions and by 1,5 percent in cities.
For the analysis, Empirica Regio examined data from all different housing types across German municipalities with more than 400 inhabitants - including both owner-occupied houses and rental properties in 9.000 rural municipalities and 107 urban districts.
Biggest houses in Germany in Beuren, smallest in Raunheim
The data showed - perhaps unsurprisingly - that people living in the countryside had the most space in 2020, at 51,4 square metres per occupant. In cities, it was significantly lower at 40,9 square metres per capita. In smaller cities and suburban areas, the average was around 47 square metres per inhabitant. The overall national average is 46 square metres.
The municipality with the biggest average home size was found to be Beuren in the Eifel, with an average size of 75,2 square metres per person. The smallest homes are to be found in Raunheim in Hesse, where the average size is 34,3 square metres. Large cities like Stuttgart (37,6 square metres) and Frankfurt (37,4) also had homes on the smaller side. In cities like Berlin and Cologne, the value has stagnated at 38,9 square metres for the past few years.
“Rural regions in particular still have enough building land and space to create new living space. Single-family houses with a large per capita use of space dominate there,” said Empirica Regio managing director Jan Grade. “In peripheral areas, however, the increasing ageing [of the population], the departure of young people, and the resulting increase in vacant properties are leading to an increase in living space per capita.”
Average home size in 1995 was 20 percent smaller
This increase in living space per capita is a long-term trend that has been continuing steadily since 2005, with the exception of the year 2015. According to a study conducted last summer by DZ Bank, a German bank, each year the average home size in Germany increases by 0,2 square metres. In 1995, for example, the average home size was 36 square metres per person - 20 percent less than in 2020.
Despite the fact that larger homes have their disadvantages - namely, they consume more energy and emit more greenhouse gases - experts do not expect the trend to reverse. “The growing number of single-person households and the desire for spacious apartments - which has increased due to the pandemic - should continue to drive the growth in space,” DZ bank wrote. For example, the fact that more people are now working from home is driving demand for more living space.