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Housing: Operating costs have risen sharply again

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Community building (symbol image)
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Housing became more expensive again in the fourth quarter of 2022. Above all, the increases in operating costs were considerable due to high inflation. At the end of the year, the average rent including operating costs was 8.9 euros per square meter, which corresponds to a price increase of 7 percent. Operating costs increased by 6.2 percent across all rental segments, that was the “highest year-on-year increase since 2006″according to Statistics Austria.

The operating costs include, among other things, fees for water, sewerage, garbage disposal and community charges such as lifts, green areas, common rooms and lighting. On average, the operating costs in the fourth quarter were 154.8 euros per apartment. This corresponds to 2.4 euros per square meter.

Municipal housing: Higher price increase

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According to Statistics Austria, the increase in operating costs for communal apartments was higher than for cooperative apartments or apartments with private main rent when viewed according to rental segments. One reason for this is that council flats usually have higher costs for communal facilities such as inner courtyards.

The operating costs per square meter in municipal housing amounted to 2.6 euros in the fourth quarter. That is an increase of 8.2 percent compared to the same quarter of the previous year. In comparison, the operating costs for apartments with a private main rent were 2.4 euros per square meter (up 6.5 percent), for cooperative apartments they were 2.2 euros (up 5.1 percent).

Average rent 600 euros

The share of operating costs compared to the total rent remained unchanged at 29 percent in the last quarter of 2022.

The monthly average rent including operating costs was 597.4 euros per main rental apartment in the fourth quarter. However, the actual level of rent depends heavily on the rental segment, the rental period, the size of the apartment and the region, according to the statistics.

Without operating costs, the average rent was 444.8 euros or 6.6 euros per square meter. Compared to the previous quarter, this was an increase of 1.4 percent, compared to the same quarter of the previous year, the increase was 7.0 percent. The rental costs refer to an extrapolated 1.7 million main rental apartments in Austria.

“Rise below general rate of inflation”

In 2022 as a whole, the average monthly rent including operating costs increased by 5.0 percent – “the increase was below the general inflation rate of 8.6 percent”said Statistics Austria Director General Tobias Thomas.

In view of the rising rents, the calls for a rent cap have become louder and louder in recent months. Whether such a thing will really come is an open question. The negotiations in the turquoise-green coalition are ongoing.

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