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6.7 percent more expensive: apartment rents increased again

6.7 percent more expensive: apartment rents increased again
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Compared to the same period last year, costs increased by 6.7 percent to 9.5 euros per square meter, Statistics Austria announced on Tuesday. However, there was no movement compared to the previous quarter. Excluding operating costs, the average rent was 7.1 euros per square meter, an increase of 7.6 percent compared to the same quarter of the previous year.

The year-on-year increases were “significantly less strong than in previous quarters, but still about twice as high as before the strong surge in inflation,” said Statistics Austria General Director Tobias Thomas. In the fourth quarter, the average rent was 634.2 euros per apartment, of which an average of 159.9 euros or 2.4 euros per square meter were operating costs. These rental costs relate to 1.78 million main rental apartments in Austria.

  • More on the topic: Last year, 320 million euros were spent on housing in Upper Austria (OÖNplus)

Fixed-term contracts have also become more common

The frequency of fixed-term contracts for main rental apartments also increased last year. Around one in four main rental apartments are now temporary; ten years ago, in 2013, the figure was 18.0 percent. The increase occurred primarily in the private rental market. “Ten years ago, 36.9 percent of private main rental apartments were temporary. In 2023, every second private main rental apartment will now be temporary,” writes the statistics. The average rental contract length, however, fell slightly. On average this was 11.1 years; in 2013 it was 12.6 years.

In a comparison of federal states, rental apartments in western Austria and Vienna were the most expensive in 2023. In Salzburg, a rental apartment including operating costs costs an average of 11.3 euros per square meter, in Vorarlberg it is 10.7 euros and in Tyrol 10.9 euros. Vienna was behind at 9.8 euros per square meter.

Upper Austria: Tenants pay an average of 8.6 euros per square meter

It was somewhat cheaper in the other federal states: in Lower Austria, an average rental apartment cost 8.4 euros per square meter, in Upper Austria 8.6 euros, in Styria 8.9 euros, in Burgenland 7.2 euros and in Carinthia 7.3 Euro. The Austrian average was 9.4 euros per square meter last year.

The Austrian Federation of Trade Unions (ÖGB) and the SPÖ took the numbers as an opportunity to call for a repair to the rent cap decided at the end of 2023. “The ÖGB is calling for a rent freeze as long as inflation is high. In the longer term, an inflation-related adjustment should not exceed a value of two percent and should be suspended completely in phases of high inflation,” said ÖGB economist Angela Pfister. SPÖ housing spokeswoman Ruth Becher is also calling for a rent freeze until 2026 and a subsequent cap of 2 percent.

The Tenancy Law currently stipulates that the regulated category rents will not be increased this year. In 2025 and 2026, the increase for guideline and category rents will be capped at five percent.

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