During the years of the global housing bubble 2003-2007 many public institutions, municipalities and industrial companies in North-Rhine-Westphalia sold their rental housing stocks to transnational financial investors. Many houses were sold several times, some companies failed. Here is a selection of 5 important “investors” who attend the MIPIM (directly or through a parent company). Together they control nearly half a million housing units in Germany.
In Germany rental housing is more important than in most other countries, especially in the cities. In the Ruhr metropolitan area nearly 68 % of all housing units are rented. Most of the buildings in this region were constructed during the decades of industrial growth, by coal and steel companies, trade unions and municipalities as part of the non-profit-housing-sector. When the national government in 1989 abolished a law which protected non-profit-housing from being sold out, it opened the way for a deep process of commodification and privatization of the existing housing stock. At the same time German governments alongside with the EU also liberalized financial markets.