Vonovia in the Context of Current Trends and Developments
The political and economic environment in 2022 was dominated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In the global supply and value chains, which were still suffering the effects of the coronavirus, the war in Eastern Europe led to further raw materials and primary products shortages. This resulted in sharp price increases and a global rise in inflation rates. Fears of energy shortages in particular sent energy prices soaring. As a result, central banks abandoned their low interest rate policies and lifted key interest rates significantly.
But even under these conditions, the business environment for the Vonovia Group has not changed fundamentally. The management is focusing on the increased prices for raw materials, energy and primary products, together with interest rates, to continue ensuring profitability. The lasting megatrends of urbanization and housing shortages, climate protection and carbon reduction, digitalization and demographic change remain important value drivers in the business model. We continually review the economic, political and social implications of these megatrends and the consequences for our strategy and the sustainability orientation of our business model.
Housing shortages in large metropolitan areas continue to ensure strong demand for the apartments completed by our Development segment. The fact that the new construction targets set by politicians in Germany are currently not being achieved is driving demand considerably at the moment.
This high level of excess demand is likely to be with us for some time. Demand for senior-friendly and affordable homes in particular is expected to increase steadily over the coming years.
This underscores the social role that Vonovia currently plays, because our business model – providing homes – is very much in the public interest. We fulfill our responsibilities as a relevant member of society by regularly and transparently informing the many stakeholders of our targets, our path and our measures.
2022 was again a year of climate extremes – in Europe and around the world. The energy crisis and the fact that climate targets were missed again in the building sector meant that the climate protection debate remained in the spotlight in Germany. Work is continuing in the political and economic arenas to create specific concepts and solutions to move away from fossil fuels, expand renewable sources of energy and reduce carbon emissions.
Vonovia is one of the leading residential real estate companies in Europe. The company operates around 488,000 of its own apartments (December 31, 2022) in almost all of Germany’s attractive cities and regions as well as around 21,000 apartments in Austria and approximately 39,000 in Sweden. In addition to renting out properties, Vonovia develops and constructs apartments for its own portfolio and for sale, and provides housing-related services. These services include energy services, senior-friendly apartment modernization and caretaker and craftsmen’s services.
Vonovia SE has its registered headquarters in Germany. Since 2017, its registered office has been in Bochum. As of December 31, 2022, 654 legal entities/companies formed part of the Vonovia Group (see List of Shareholdings).
Vonovia SE performs the function of the management holding company for the Group. In this role, it is responsible for determining and pursuing the overall strategy and implementing the company’s goals. It also performs property management, financing, service and coordination tasks for the Group. Furthermore, it is responsible for the management, control and monitoring system as well as risk management system of the Group.
To carry out these management functions, Vonovia SE manages a series of service companies. The companies perform commercial and operational support functions, which are centralized in shared service centers.
Vonovia manages its business via the five segments: Rental, Value-add, Recurring Sales, Development and Care.
Further information on Vonovia SE and its corporate structure can be found in the Annual Report under Corporate Structure.
Climate protection and reducing carbon emissions in our portfolio are of vital importance in our sustainability strategy, too. Setting targets at international level, such as the Paris Agreement and the European Union Green Deal, as well as those set at national level, such as the goal set by the German Federal Government this year to achieve climate neutrality by 2045, is Vonovia’s focus in this regard.
The expansion of digitalization is not only changing industrial processes and everyday lives, it is also providing new opportunities in the housing industry. Vonovia is utilizing digitalization in the interest of its customers – from services to establishing efficient processes.
Demographic change is resulting in the amount and number of older population groups increasing further. In 2022, Vonovia again focused on converting and constructing fully accessible apartments to serve these groups. Another result of demographic change is the increasing shortage of labor. Our company is countering this by working closely on gaining young talent, but also by implementing innovative concepts to recruit employees from abroad.
Our strategy has a part to play in society finding sustainable solutions to meet the challenge of current megatrends. As part of its sustainability strategy, Vonovia has made a clear and explicit commitment to implementing climate protection targets, in particular to achieving a virtually climate-neutral housing stock by 2045, as well as to reliable and transparent corporate governance.
The merger with Deutsche Wohnen lays the foundation for forming a leading European real estate company which can take an even more effective approach to tackling the central social and environmental challenges of the housing industry.
The Sustainability Report, including key figures reported for the 2022 fiscal year, relate to the Vonovia Group including Deutsche Wohnen and our business activities in Austria and Sweden. Deutsche Wohnen is included in Vonovia’s sustainability reporting and the Non-financial Group Declaration for the reporting year.
Vonovia in Figures