Homes and Customers
Our business is geared toward providing people with homes – one of their basic human needs. The life circumstances of individuals are all different in a number of ways – and so are the needs of our customers. Together, our customers reflect society as a whole. The demand on the housing market also varies by region. Particularly in large metropolitan areas – and increasingly also in the areas surrounding them – the available housing is scarce and demand correspondingly high. This scarcity is exacerbated further by the influx of refugees due to Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine. This coincides with an increasingly unfavorable investment environment resulting from rising construction and land costs, fewer subsidies, a growing lack of skilled labor and disproportionately higher interest rates.
These developments continue to unfold against the background of high climate protection requirements, the fulfillment of which is particularly cost-intensive in the buildings sector. When it comes to energy-related refurbishments in particular, it is important for housing providers like us to take into account the ability of individual tenants to afford such upgrades in order to provide them a home over the long term. The fundamental challenge in this action area is combining European and national climate protection requirements with social responsibility – that is, providing a broad range of homes at fair and transparent prices while also adhering to our climate path.
- Numerous cooperation agreements concluded with cities and municipalities to secure homes and fair rents
- “Alliance for Housing” in Berlin signed
- Average allocation of modernization costs of € 1.20/m2
- More than 41,000 price-linked apartments in Germany
- Special housing offers for Deutsche Bahn employees introduced
- Established social management program rolled out further and positive decisions reached for 391 out of 546 hardship cases – more than 70%
- Numerous projects and measures carried out under “Housing First” initiative to combat homelessness
- Around 10,000 apartments in Germany (partially) modernized for the elderly (one third of new rentals)
- Customer satisfaction up 1.3% on the previous year and again at an all-time high
- Customer apps’ functionality expanded. Around 180,000 active users
Housing was once more a hot topic in the public debate in the reporting year. It has been and remains the focus of many political debates and election campaigns. This is particularly true in large metropolises such as Berlin. Following the declaration that the rent index was invalid, the need for another state parliamentary election, and an ongoing commission on how to deal with public referendums on the socialization of housing portfolios of large residential real estate companies in Berlin, the debate is especially fraught in Germany’s capital. At the national level, the federal government responded with the “Alliance for Affordable Housing” in 2022. The aim is to support a campaign of construction, investment and innovation, first and foremost for social housing.
Demographic change is increasing the demand for housing that meets the needs of an aging population. In Germany, the demand for senior-friendly housing will outstrip supply by around two million by 2035. In an aging society, it is crucial to enable a large number of people to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible. Maintaining and improving the quality of housing through needs-based expansion and renovation is therefore of particular importance. This also requires offers for people at a stage of life where living in their own homes is no longer possible. That means offering suitable nursing care facilities with well-equipped service options.
However, the focus is always on the individual tenant as a person and an individual. The health and satisfaction of an individual are the fundamental basis for a fulfilled life in their own home – and thus also for Vonovia’s success. Intact homes, free from mold and other unhealthy substances are our basic, non-negotiable standard. We want our customers to feel well in their homes and in our neighborhoods. The quality of customer care and services also plays a major role in guaranteeing their satisfaction. Our experience tells us that availability, speed and transparency in customer service are pivotal when it comes to living up to expectations.
We defined a number of topics as absolutely material for Vonovia within the spheres of activity of Homes and Customers. These are Living at Fair Prices, Homes That Meet People’s Needs and Demographic Change, Customer Satisfaction and Service Quality. Another vital topic is Maintenance for Health and Safety.