The number of newly built apartments in Germany rose slightly by 0.6 percent to 295,300 last year despite higher prices and supply bottlenecks. However, the Federal Government's former target of 400,000 new homes per year was clearly missed. The 2020 level of 306,400 apartments was also not reached, as the Federal Statistical Office announced in Wiesbaden on Tuesday. In the current year, the construction industry expects at best 250,000 completed apartments.

"Especially in the conurbations and their surrounding areas, the housing shortage is cemented," said the chief executive of the Federation of the German Construction Industry, Tim-Oliver Müller. There is hardly any improvement in sight in 2024 either, and completion figures are likely to fall further in view of the collapse of building permits.

Permits in decline

Despite the demand for housing, the number of permits has been plummeting since last year. Due to sharply increased lending rates and high construction prices, many builders are holding back on projects or cancelling them – from private house builders to major investors.

Many construction projects have stalled due to a shortage of skilled workers and supply bottlenecks for building materials. At the end of 2022, the number of apartments approved but not yet completed amounted to 884,800. That was 38,400 more than at the end of 2021.

The average time from approval to completion has increased by about two months since global supply chains were disrupted by the Corona pandemic – from 20 months in 2020 to 22 months in 2022, the Wiesbaden-based authority explained. The figures include construction completions for new buildings as well as for construction work on existing buildings.

There was a decline of 1.5 percent in single-family homes. The number of new apartments in two-family houses, on the other hand, rose significantly by 14.1 percent to 23,000. 150,200 new apartments were created in apartment buildings, 1.5 percent more than in the previous year. In dormitories, a decrease of 14.5 percent was recorded.