Next level transparency

More transparency in the real estate market – thanks to the ImmoScout24 WohnBarometer

Real estate boom, housing shortage, rising prices: many parts of Germany are experiencing a tight real estate market. Anybody who has been looking for an apartment or a house in recent years will be keenly aware of that, but it is also common knowledge in the meantime – you need only look at the headlines of media articles on the real estate market. But why are real estate prices still rising in many regions? How have prices developed in Germany in recent months? And what can we expect in the next twelve months?

At ImmoScout24, we provide answers to these questions. With data and facts that create transparency and provide guidance – for example, with our ImmoScout24 Housing Barometer (“WohnBarometer”). Once a quarter, we make our Housing Barometer available to the public free of charge. Kristian Kehlert, among others, is responsible for the Housing Barometer and other market analyses. Together with his Data & Analytics team, he evaluates thousands of data and presents them in a way that is easy to understand.

What is the ImmoScout24 Housing Barometer and how did it come about?

The Housing Barometer is a market report on the price development of residential real estate in Germany. It evolved from our IMX index, which we introduced over ten years ago. That index was based on data from more than 15 million listings posted on our platform, from rental apartments to single-family homes. However, as the name suggests, this price index only gave you an index value. For people who don’t deal with real estate data on a day-to-day basis, it wasn’t particularly helpful. That’s why we’ve taken the IMX to the next level and released a better and more intuitive version in 2021 under the new name “WohnBarometer”.

What’s the advantage of the ImmoScout24 Housing Barometer over the IMX index?

The big advantage is that the Housing Barometer reflects the price development of residential real estate in terms of real asking prices and not in abstract index values. We have also added a supply-demand indicator to the Housing Barometer. In this way, we show transparently the interdependence between the development of prices and demand. And because we wanted to do more than merely shed light on the past, we added a sophisticated pricing forecast. This shows how prices will develop over the next twelve months and can answer questions like “Can I still afford to live in this city?” or “Where could I afford to live in the future?”. Like the IMX, the Housing Barometer continues to be based on our extensive listing data and covers over 8.5 million ImmoScout24 listings from the last five years.

The calculation of the ImmoScout24 Housing Barometer

The calculation is based on reference properties for the respective property type under consideration. For apartments for sale, for example, we take a three-room apartment with 80 square meters of living space as a basis. For rental apartments, it is a two-room existing apartment with 70 square meters, because that’s the more relevant kind of property in the rental market. The prices are calculated by an algorithm backed by machine learning. To determine demand, we look at the contact requests received within a week per advertisement. We also standardise the value to compensate for different listing periods of the properties.

million ImmoScout24 listings from the last five years are included in the data tool.
German cities to be included in the Housing Barometer in the future.

Why are market reports like the ImmoScout24 Housing Barometer so important?

For many people, buying or selling real estate is among the most important and emotional decisions they will make in their life. It’s a decision that needs to be thought through carefully and made based on sound information. The ImmoScout24 Housing Barometer gives consumers a feel for the real estate market and an initial indication of prices. With our data and facts, we provide transparency and guidance and help people make decisions. For journalists, our market reports provide important information for their reporting on the real estate market in Germany.

What have you got planned for the Housing Barometer going forward?

One major issue is the regional focus of the report. Germany is characterised by many regional centres and different developments. We have an “urban-rural divide”: what is true for cities and often dominates the headlines need not be of great relevance for rural regions. We want a more differentiated picture that takes account of Germany’s structure. With this in mind, we plan to expand the analysis to include up to 100 German cities in the future and to focus on certain regions.

43 million properties in just one data tool – the free Price Atlas

In addition to the Housing Barometer, we offer a range of other analytics and data tools that provide transparency and guidance in the real estate market. Take, for example, the Price Atlas. In contrast to the Housing Barometer, which provides a general overview, the Price Atlas provides our users with specific information on purchase and rental prices as well as price trends for every address and district throughout Germany. Based on the data for over 43 million properties, the data tool shows users the price trends over the past four years as well as how frequently properties were listed in the last seven years. It also shows prices for similar listings in the area over the last seven years. A particularly useful function for consumers – the Price Atlas is enriched with data about the location. This allows users to find out more about the average age, average length of residence or the percentage distribution of marital status of people living in the vicinity of the address entered – which helps them to get to know their new neighbourhood better.

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