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Incoming Migration Hits New Record in Berlin

In 2015, the number of incoming residents reached its highest level in Berlin since 1989, the year the Berlin Wall came down. According to the IBB Investment Bank Berlin, nearly 183,000 people moved to the German capital. If you deduct the number of residents who left the city during the same period of time, you get a net immigration of just over 40,000 new residents. According to figures released by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), incoming migration to Berlin saw a one-year growth by 16 percent in 2015. The agency cited immigration from outside Germany as main growth driver. Since the number of people moving to Berlin from elsewhere in Germany declined by around ten percent, the city attracted even more foreigners than it used to. Berlin appears to be particularly attractive for residents of other EU countries. With 1,329 EU citizens relocating here, they accounted for well over a fourth of the net immigration, according to the IBB Investment Bank Berlin. Berlin's Senate Administration for Labour, Integration and Women suggested that a total of 20,000 citizens of other EU member states flock to Berlin every year. In fact, these immigrants to Berlin have added up to more than 100,000 over the past five years.

Steady Population Growth Coincides with Housing Shortage

The IBB Investment Bank Berlin went on to say that the average number of people moving to Germany's capital annually has exceeded 40,000 every year since 2010. Berlin's population has increased by 200,000 new residents from incoming migration over the past five years. As a result, the population total is back across the mark of 3.5 million which it appeared to have crossed previously before the census of 09 May 2011 revised it downward to 3.35 million. The Investment Bank takes a positive view of the sustained incoming migration to Berlin, not least because it boosts the city's economic performance.

However, the breakneck pace of the growth has exacerbated an anyway acute housing shortage in the city. According to the latest housing atlas published by Postbank (“Wohnatlas 2016 – Leben in der Stadt”), Berlin's housing construction rate will have to accelerate by 16.7 percent between now and 2030. This would be the equivalent of nearly 320,000 apartments. The current urban development master plan of the competent Berlin Senate Department puts the residential construction demand until 2025 at no more than 137,000 flats. For what it's worth, the residential completions total of 2015 represents a year-on-year increase by 2,000 units. But Berlin still counts among the cities with the greatest need for new housing in Germany. It stands to reason that the new population record in sync with the housing bottleneck will keep driving up residential rents and prices in Germany's first city in the foreseeable future.