Over the last few months, the Swedish Heimstaden AB has bought more than 140 houses with nearly 4,000 apartments throughout Berlin. The deal is driving the city’s sell-out further, and crowding out and shortage of housing is expected. Heimstaden and the investment company Skjerven Group, acting on its behalf, are known for vacancies, luxury renovations and conversions into property.
Scope and consequences of the deal
Heimstaden Bostad AB is one of the largest Swedish housing companies. Behind it stands the Norwegian billionaire Ivar Tollefsen, who, according to media reports, already owns 100,000 apartments in Europe. The latest deal is thus to cover 130 Berlin apartment buildings with 3902 apartments for a price of just under 830 million euros. In total, however, there are already almost 150 houses and over 4,000 apartments.
In times of rent caps, such major investments are particularly alarming and highlight the speculative interest of the investor. It is not unlikely that apartments will be expensively renovated, converted into property and sold after purchase. Experiences of tenants and reports of different media on the yield-oriented approach of Heimstaden point to this circumstance. At the same time, new expensive micro apartments and condominiums mean a shortage in the already tight rental market.