Construction industry sounds the alarm: Housing shortage “is slowing down the labor market”

The construction industry is sounding the alarm
Housing shortage “slows down labor market”

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While politicians are hoping for an end to the housing construction crisis due to falling inflation, industry associations believe that the bottom has not yet been reached. Experts warn that the lull in construction has the potential to strangle momentum in the labor market and is putting pressure on the traffic lights to take action.

According to the Construction-Agrar-Environment Industrial Union, the lack of housing is increasingly becoming a disadvantage for the German economy. Companies urgently needed workers. “But they only come if they find an apartment that they can afford,” warned IG-BAU boss Robert Feiger before the housing industry day in Berlin.

There is a shortage of more than 800,000 apartments nationwide, said Feiger. Anyone who wants to work in big cities and metropolitan areas has little chance of finding affordable housing – regardless of whether they are skilled workers from Germany or immigrants from abroad. “The housing market has become a bottleneck for the labor market.” But that also means that the overall economy will not grow if there is no growth in housing construction. “If nothing happens now, Germany will experience a boomerang effect: the housing construction crisis will have a severe impact on the entire economy,” Feiger made clear.

“No sign of relaxation”

At the Housing Construction Day in Berlin, several industry associations want to persuade the federal government to provide greater support for housing construction in Germany. Construction Minister Klara Geywitz from the SPD and Economics Minister Robert Habeck from the Greens are expected. Despite falling inflation, the construction industry sees no signs of the crisis on the housing market easing. Some politicians are already talking about signals of a revival in housing construction, although the downward trend is still in full swing, said the managing director of the Main Association of the German Construction Industry, Tim-Oliver Müller, in the “Augsburger Allgemeine” and the “Rheinische Post”.

According to trade president Jörg Dittrich, the construction industry is “still far from bottoming out, especially not in residential construction.” The coming months would be “damn hard,” he told the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung”. Politicians should provide stronger incentives for building, also to avert dramatic consequences for the economy as a whole. The president of the Haus und Grund owners’ association, Kai Warnecke, also called for more incentives for housing construction in the “Rheinische Post”. The federal government must work together with the states and municipalities to improve the framework conditions. Building must become easier and cheaper.

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