Situation of Student Accommodation

The German market for student residences consists of some 314,200 accommodation units. 40,000 of these units belong to the private sector. The remaining student residences are run by the church or public-sector institutions.


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How does the supply of student accommodation bear up to international comparison?

The accommodation ratio – that is, the number of students in student residences in relation to the total student population – currently stands at 11.6 per cent in Germany. This is a relatively low ratio by European standards (Sweden: 30.5 per cent; Netherlands: 18 per cent; England/Wales: 17.7 per cent; source: Eurostudent IV). Demand exceeds supply many times over in numerous German university cities.

  • Example: Berlin
    The Studentenwerk in Berlin lets 9,500 places in student of residences. 2,200 names were on waiting lists ahead of the winter term 2014/2015.
  • Example: Bremen
    1,994 public accommodation places were available for a student population of 31,195 in the last winter term – a ratio of 6.4 per cent. Around 450 students are on the waiting list for the student residences in Bremen.
  • Example: Kiel
    The city of Kiel has 32,000 students but only 2.225 places in student residences – a ratio of 6.9 per cent. More than 600 students were on the waiting list in the autumn of 2014.
  • Example: Munich
    While in Munich 89,570 students are enrolled at the two universities alone, there are only 11,000 places available in student residences. 6.800 students were on the Studentenwerk’s waiting list in October 2014. In the case of student residences situated close to universities, the number of people on the waiting list may exceed the number of places in student residences by a factor of up to around 17.

How easy is it for students to find accommodation?

A 2014 survey by Allensbach examining conditions for students in Germany indicates a critical shortage of accommodation. 72 per cent of students stated that they had difficulties finding somewhere to live. One in three even described the situation as “very difficult”. In the same survey, 72 per cent of all students complained that there were not enough places in student residences in the city in which they were studying. Only 14 per cent consider the availability of accommodation to be adequate.


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Why will the demand specifically for furnished rooms rise?

The increase in the number of international students in Germany and the Bologna Process will boost the demand for furnished rooms in student residences. In contrast to the old degree courses in Germany, students often study for their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in different cities. In the course of their studies, they undertake practical training in Germany and abroad. Students are thus becoming more mobile, leading to a growing demand for furnished rooms at affordable prices. International students also prefer to live in student residences. As their numbers grow, so does the accompanying demand. Until 2017 the Deutsche Studentenwerk calls for 45.000 additional places in student residences. Foreign students will account for 20,000 of these required places.

What do students expect of their accommodation?

Today’s students have higher expectations of their accommodation. The fittings and furnishings play an important role, for example. According to the current CBRE market report on student housing – “Studentisches Wohnen 2014/2015″ – 73 per cent of students wish to have their own WC/shower, 66 per cent would like to have their own built-in kitchen and 61 per cent consider a balcony/terrace important. A central location is important to 70.7 per cent of students. Proximity to the place of study and public transport services play a significant role for 60.9 and 57.8 per cent of students respectively.


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What monthly budget do students have at their disposal?

According to a social survey conducted by the Deutsches Studentenwerk (DSW), students dispose of 864 euros per month. A quarter of all students actually have more than 1,000 euros per month at their disposal. On average, they spend 34.5 per cent of their money or around 300 euros on rent. The CBRE market report concludes that 43.7 per cent of students are prepared to pay between 300 and 400 euros for an “ideal living situation”. This means that just under 1.2 million students represent a potential target group for high-quality but affordable accommodation.


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