Europe's housing shortage

The State of Renting in Europe

According to rental platform Housing Anywhere International, both Lisbon and Porto saw a 25 percent increase in the cost of renting an apartment in April through June 2023 compared to the same three month period last year. This is an alarming rate, especially considering how local salaries (which are already low compared with much of the rest of Europe) are not rising at anywhere near the same pace.

In the same time period, Hungary’s capital of Budapest has seen its median price for an apartment jump by an astonishing 43 percent year-on-year to €1,100. Meanwhile, in Italy’s Florence and Turin, which have historically had much lower prices for renting accommodation than other parts of the country are starting to catch up as Florence saw a surge in its rental apartments of 21 percent (to a median of €1,700) and Turin saw a 12.5 percent (€900) increase.

Several phenomena are at work here. Firstly, Europe is in the midst of a housing shortage crisis, which is pushing up the cost of renting an apartment drastically in many of the continent’s cities. But at the same time, new policies from the Covid work from home era mean that more ‘mobile talent’, or young skilled workers, are moving abroad, where they are driving up prices.

According to the report, the ranking of the biggest year on year changes varies depending on room type. When it comes to apartments, Budapest (42.9 percent), The Hague (27.8 percent), Utrecht (25.8 percent), Porto (25 percent) and Lisbon (15.8 percent) are the most extreme cases of the 23 analyzed cities.

In terms of the year on year change of a private room, however, it is: Lisbon (29.4 percent), The Hague (28.6 percent), Berlin (22.6 percent), Amsterdam (18.8 percent) and Frankfurt am Main (16.9 percent). While for studios it is: Lisbon (70.3 percent), Florence (33.3 percent), Hamburg (27.4 percent), The Hague (23.8 percent) and Porto (23.3 percent). Notably, both Lisbon and the Hague appear in all three of the top 5 roundups.

The following chart is based on an analysis of more than 64,000 properties across 23 European cities. The following chart looks at the median rental price for a fully-furnished 1-bedroom apartment which are mostly geared towards mobile talents, i.e. young professionals and international students mostly aged between 18 and 35. More than 95.8 percent of the analyzed properties were fully furnished and 58 percent included bills.


This chart shows the median rental price for a fully-furnished 1-bedroom apartment in selected cities in Q2 2023 (in EUR).

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