I could be wrong about this, but it seems to me that the 9.8 euros/sq.m. that appears to be recently imposed cap on rentals in Berlin is lower than the average rental price for housing in Prague 13 euros/sq.m. by my (hopefully straightforward) conversion of 340 CZK (reported in early 2019) or even the average rental price in Budapest, which I found reported to be 11 euros/sq.m. in 2017.

So, unless I'm mistaken with the figures, what justification was provided for having a cap on rental prices in Berlin that is lower than the average rental price in some Central & Eastern EU countries (where I'm guessing incomes are lower than in Berlin)?

Also note that there's another question asking in general terms why the measure was imposed. I'm asking here more precisely how the specific cap figure was justified by the proponents. (I've also noticed that the CDU, including Merkel, have spoken against this measure, but as far as I could find, as a matter of principle, not in terms of the cap figure.)

  • 4
    Questions about "why did x say y" or "why did x do y" are troublesome. They will have a huge dollop of opinion. They involve mind reading. They can involve lies, delusion, and transparent covering up by those involved. And they often involve evidence of the results conflicting with the stated purposes of the actors. And they are quite likely to generate a lot of strong emotional responses. This is a subject that is strong in all of this, as amply demonstrated by the other question you reference.
    – puppetsock
    Feb 28 '20 at 14:43
  • @puppetsock: I'm simply asking if the was some justification publicly provided. The answer could be "no, they just put that figure into the law without a public discussion/analysis etc."
    – Fizz
    Feb 28 '20 at 14:45
  • Perhaps you could clarify the logic of imposing a cap on the basis of area? (Since the link is behind an ad block firewall, and I can't turn off my ad blocker because I don't HAVE a #$%! ad blocker.) I'm not familiar with Berlin, but to translate into US terms, there would seem to be little justification for renting say a 5th avenue penthouse for the same price per m^2 as a 5th floor Harlem walkup.
    – jamesqf
    Feb 29 '20 at 18:26
  • @jamesqf well that's why they cap it based on area and location. IIRC it's something like "up to X% more per square metre than the average in the surrounding Y km"
    – user253751
    Jul 3 '20 at 10:37

Berlin compares itself with Berlin, and perhaps other German cities, not with Eastern Europe.

  • There is a perception in some part of the political spectrum that rent increases squeeze out established residents and change the social structure of entire quarters, and that this is undesirable. (Die Linke, one of the parties in the Berlin governing coalition).
  • Compared to other German cities, Berlin used to have relatively low rents and relatively low wages, a legacy of the reunification of East and West Berlin. This is now changing with rents rising faster than wages. (Wages, rents and rent change.)
  • Germany had no free market in housing even before the new law. Rent increases had to be limited by the ortsübliche Vergleichsmiete. For many parts of the city the new cap is in the same ballpark as the Berlin Vergleichsmiete.

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