Moreover, the market is expected remain tight until the end of the decade. Official completion
plans are unlikely to provide relief either. In 2016 (latest available figures), only
13,700 residential units were completed, i.e. 0.7% of the total number of existing
According to official statistics, the gap between construction permits and
completions remained high, as in the last few years. While 25,100 building
permits were issued, only 13,700 units were completed. The gap between
permits and completions is larger than in any other major German city; the ratio
is 1.83 in Berlin, compared to 1.78 in Düsseldorf, 1.4 in Hamburg, 1.3 in
Frankfurt and Munich and 1.2 in Cologne and Stuttgart.
Between 2011 and 2015 (latest available figures), Berlin’s population increased by 200,000 and the
number of households by c. 125,000. Robust demand is not least due to
favourable labour market trends. Employment growth came in at c. 4% in 2016
and continued at the same pace in 2017. This is quite impressive; aggregate
employment growth since 2009 amounts to almost 30%. As a result,
unemployment has been declining for years, to 8.4% in December 2017 – a rate
last seen in 1984.