Berlin Rent Freeze Gives Real Estate Stock Investors Cold Feet
Berlin’s plan to freeze rents in the city for five years has spooked investors facing leaner returns amid a public backlash against big apartment owners, once among the best-performing stocks.
The combined market value of Germany’s 60 publicly traded landlords fell by about $8 billion in the second quarter, according to data compiled by the European Public Real Estate Association. The 7% decline from the previous three months was by far the worst performance among European countries.
One of the biggest losers was Deutsche Wohnen SE, Berlin’s largest apartment owner and the focus of protests about rising rents and the shrinking supply of housing in Germany’s capital. Its shares have dropped by almost a quarter since the city government announced its intention to rein in landlords.