HousingAnywhere International Rent Index by City

Average monthly rental prices, April 2021 report

Average rent price apartments top 10 most expensive cities HousingAnywhere Rent Index Q1 2021

  • Rental prices still heavily impacted by regional lockdowns, but the decline is slowing down
  • Rental price recovery expected with vaccines becoming available to all population groups
  • Post-Covid-19 strategy needed for European rental market to avoid repeating past mistakes
  • Italy and Spain continue to show the most significant drops in rental prices

April 7, 2021 - The HousingAnywhere International Rent Index report for Q1 2021 shows a rental market that remains heavily impacted by COVID-19 and regional lockdowns. But change looms on the horizon: rental prices are declining less rapidly compared to the previous quarter. With vaccines becoming available worldwide, things are looking up. With the rental market seemingly tied to the roll-out of the vaccines, some caution is advised on the road to recovery, says Djordy Seelmann, CEO of HousingAnywhere:

The roll-out of the vaccine is moving slower than the world had hoped. And that is slowing down the recovery of the rental markets. On top of that, we expect supply shortages to return once the lockdowns are lifted. Airbnb apartments that became available on the residential rental market during the pandemic will then return to the tourist industry, unless governments take decisive action to protect the residential housing stock.

Average monthly rental price for furnished one-bedroom apartments, private rooms, and studios.

Rental decrease trend breaking in major cities

After being down throughout 2020 due to the rent cap, Berlin apartment rental prices are showing a steep increase: up 11% to EUR 1,122 per month, an average of EUR 25.3 per square meter. Since the introduction of the contested Mietendeckel in February of 2020, rents dropped between 10 to 15%. The German Economic Institute (DIW) reported that while the rent cap has pushed down rents in the capital substantially, it has also caused Berlin’s rental market to shrink by more than 50 per cent.

For the first time since Q2 2020, Madrid saw rents increase by 1.4% for one-bedroom apartments to EUR 1,119, an average of EUR 18.5 per square meter. As a result of tourist accommodation not getting booked, many of those apartments in the higher price segments entered the residential market, which is also under a proposed rent cap.

A rental cap proposed to counter sharp rental price increases in Barcelona is shrinking Catalonia's rental market. Last quarter’s steep decrease is slowing down: rents for apartments are down 4.4% compared to -4.9% previous quarter, resulting in rent of EUR 1,130 or EUR 17.2 per square meter.

Vienna is breaking its strong downward trend of the previous quarters. Anti-short-term legislation, combined with reduced international demand, is still impacting rental prices, but at a slower rate than previous quarters. One-bedroom apartments are down 8.5% compared to -10.5% last quarter, resulting in average rent of EUR 876 per month, EUR 19.3 per square meter.

In Amsterdam, the steep rental price decreases as seen in 2020 are slowing down: one-bedroom apartments are down 2%, compared to -2.3% last quarter, resulting in an average of EUR 1,603 a month or EUR 25.5 per square meter.

Top 5 Cities with the Biggest Y/Y Decreases

  1. Barcelona witnessed stark rental prices decreases in Q1 compared to the last quarter, with apartment prices decreasing at -4.4% to € 1.603 euro a month, a decrease at -4.9% compared to last 2020. Studio rental prices increased by 2.8% to € 99 euro, a yearly decrease of -0,1%. Single rooms decreased at -1.4% to € 617 euro a month, a drop of -2.1% compared to last year.
  2. In Q1 of 2021, Rome saw the biggest decrease in rental prices: -4.7% for apartments compared to last quarter, bringing the monthly rent to an average of € 1.060 euro, a yearly decrease of 5.9%. A decrease at -1.8% for studios to € 772 euro, a drop of -8.7 % compared to 2020. And a monthly decrease at -2.1% for single rooms to € 525 euro per month, a decrease of -13.2% compared to last year.
  3. In surprising third place ranks Munich, with a decrease in rental prices of one-bedroom apartments at -7.7% to € 1.347 euro, a decrease at -13.6% compared to last year. Studio prices at -0.3% to € 1.026 euro, decreased at -1.9% compared to 2020. Compared to Q4, the average rental price for a single room decreased at -0.7% to € 660 euro, a decrease at -4.4% compared to 2020.
  4. Average rental prices for one-bedroom apartments continue their downward trend in Vienna at -8.5% to € 876 euro per month. A difference of -15.9% compared to last year. Studio prices increased at -2% to € 715 euro, at -17.3% compared to 2020. Prices for single rooms decreased at -1.3% to an average of € 472 euro per month, a difference of -2.1% compared to the previous year.
  5. London apartments decreased at -2% compared to last quarter to € 1.745 euro, a decrease of -0.6% compared to last year. Studio prices decreased at -2.3% to € 1.118 euro compared to 3.4% in 2020. Single rooms decreased at -3.3% to € 678 euro, a decrease at -3.1% compared to 2020.

Path of recovery for the rental market

With the rental market seemingly tied to the roll-out of the vaccines, some caution is advised on the road to recovery. Some cities are already limiting the number of holiday rentals that can be withdrawn from the residential housing stock. However, shortages are still rampant in most large cities. Hardly any new accommodations were built or completed, and universities reported increased enrolment numbers, with a higher than usual peak in September. Seelmann:

We urge city councils to use the available data to their advantage. Now is the time for city councils to start thinking about a post-pandemic rental stock strategy.

About the HousingAnywhere International Rent Index

For this 10th edition of the rent price index, HousingAnywhere analysed 105,789 properties listed on the platform between January 2020 and March 2021. To ensure the data was representative, properties that did not receive active interest from potential tenants and listings that were considered outliers were excluded. Properties deemed too expensive or cheap were not considered for this report as they threatened to skew the data. The report comprises cities that could provide a sample large enough for the data to be reliable. Data is shown only for single rooms in joined living arrangements, studios, and one-bedroom apartments. The report is also available in Spanish, Italian, German and Dutch.

About HousingAnywhere

HousingAnywhere is Europe's largest rental accommodation marketplace, with 10 million unique visitors per year and 60,000+ properties available for rent. Young professionals and students looking to rent a home are matched with accommodation providers, ranging from private real estate owners to large-scale property managers. Through its advanced platform, tenants book for longer stays and typically rent accommodation for 3 to 12 months. The Rotterdam-based technology start-up employs 140 people. Currently, the startup is focussed on 32 key cities throughout Europe, with plans to rapidly expand its footprint.

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