That’s how much rent students pay now

Rent prices for student apartments are rising steeply almost everywhere. In a particularly popular city, the price increases are strikingly high. But there are also exceptions.

Looking for a room on a bulletin board in Freiburg.

SStudent apartments at universities in Germany are becoming more and more expensive. In most major cities and areas, students have to pay between 9.8 percent (Greifswald) and 67.3 percent (Berlin) more rent in real terms than they did in 2010. This is based on the student housing price index presented on Monday on behalf of the Cologne Institute for Economic Research (IW ). Since last year, rental prices have increased by 2.2 percent (Greifswald) and 9.8 percent (Berlin) in real terms. “More has to be built, but the big cities are growing very fast. New buildings can therefore dampen the price increase, but not stop it, ”said study director Michael Voigtländer.

With an average of 600 euros, students in Munich pay the most in Germany, followed by Frankfurt am Main with 488 euros per month. The cheapest place to live is currently in Magdeburg. Landlords there charge an average of 200 euros. The cheapest university locations with rent of less than 300 euros also include Leipzig, Jena, Greifswald, Kiel, Göttingen and Aachen.

Data source Internet portals

The study is based on data from popular internet portals. The IW wanted to investigate which advertisements students find when they move to a new city, do not receive a dorm room and are solely dependent on online offers. “The number of advertisements is still high, but declining,” said Voigtländer.

In addition to the strong demand for apartments in the big cities, there is another reason for the rapid rise in prices, according to IW: “The equipment in the apartments has improved,” said Voigtländer. Above all, the quality of new buildings is higher than it used to be.

Rent eats up to 2/3 of the budget

A look at their budget shows what the rent increase means for students’ lives: According to the latest social survey by the German Student Union, students have 918 euros a month to spend. In 2012 the average was 842 euros – income has only increased by around nine percent since then. Depending on the university location, between one and two thirds of the money is spent on your own four walls.

Meanwhile, the number of students in Berlin, in the Ruhr area as well as in Munich, Cologne and Hamburg has increased significantly. While 2.22 million people attended Germany’s universities in the 2010/2011 winter semester, the figure was already 2.84 million in the previous winter semester. For this reason, first-year students were increasingly considering whether they would like to study in cities with less traffic, says Voigtländer.

Opportunities for the province

The expert sees opportunities in this development: “In Germany there are numerous regions that have a considerable need for skilled workers, but where rents are significantly more moderate.” Examples are the regions around Jena, Upper Franconia and South Westphalia. But not only students benefit from the comparatively lower rents there: Because the universities train young people and they often stay in the region after their studies, the area also benefits from the influx. The universities also initiated innovations that gave local companies a competitive edge, it said.

Nevertheless, according to the study, there are clear regional differences: Not all university locations have grown – in the eastern German cities of Jena, Magdeburg and Greifswald there are even fewer students today than there were seven years ago.