The negative trend in building permits continues unabated. According to the Federal Statistical Office, 218,100 new apartments were approved from January to October 2023, 26.7 percent less than in the same period last year. The decline in single- and two-family homes is particularly noticeable. Dirk Wohltorf, President of the German Real Estate Association IVD, says: “The ongoing crisis in housing construction is not least due to the extremely high construction costs and bureaucratic hurdles. Germany is one of the highest-cost countries in the area of new housing construction. The main reason for this is less the price of the land and more the high construction costs themselves. At 5,150 euros per square meter, the production costs are significantly higher than in many other European countries. In addition, we have the highest additional construction costs in Europe. Around a third of the new construction costs are caused by taxes and public charges. The federal, state and local governments must finally control their immense hunger for tax revenue and put themselves on a diet. The additional demand for construction, which could be stimulated, for example, by reducing the real estate transfer tax, would flow back to the state via the resulting payroll tax as well as other direct and indirect taxes and social security contributions in the amount of twice or even three times the shortfall in tax revenue,” said Wohltorf.