Friedrich II solved the Berlin rent problem back then - Berliner Morgenpost
Berlin. & Nbsp; Sure, that wasn't the norm at that time either. Anton Friedrich Büsching wrote in 1775: "It is indeed something unusual for a sovereign to have his subjects build new, high and beautiful stone houses of much greater value instead of their old, low and low houses, and give them to them with a unique gift."
The widely respected travel writer and geographer wrote this about the Prussian king Frederick the Great, about his housing policy in the then capital, Berlin. And about his very special type of "rent brake", as one would say there today. The problems tended to run in the same direction 250 years ago as they do today, as did the fronts. However, sizes and solutions could not be more different.
It's getting tight in Berlin. Between 1999 and 2018 the population increased from 3,386,000 to 3,644,000. By seven and a half percent in 20 years. The result: gross increases in rents. Rent ceilings, expropriations - this comes to the mind of the Senate. But are 7.5 percent actually a lot in 20 years?
When Frederick II was crowned king in 1740, the population had increased by half in the two decades before. From 60,000 to 90,000. Well, among them were a few soldiers in barracks. However, even after deducting them, a third more citizens lived in the city in the year of Frederick II's inauguration than 20 years earlier, five times (!) The current growth rate.
That quote comes from Büsching's book with the elegiac title "Description of his journey from Berlin via Potsdam to Reckahn not far from Brandenburg, which he did from the third to the eighth of June 1775". The author provides tons of precise geographic and social data. When he portrays his carriage ride along Leipziger Strasse, he becomes enthusiastic about the “sight of such a long and beautiful street”, which enchants everyone who enters it through the Potsdam Gate for the first time.
“Because the king embellished this previously well-built street, and the regular Dönhoffsche Platz on it, with new, tall and beautiful stone houses. Now 16 are still being built, which are usually to be completed before winter. ”
Frederickian housing policy: In Leipziger Strasse and side streets, Friedrich II had 108 houses built six years later between 1769 and Büsching's walk alone. Instead of previously one-story buildings, three- or four-story buildings now gave the urban impression.
As gifts for the respective property owners: "With a cabinet order, the king ordered the magistrate to issue donation letters to the owners because they were and should remain their property, regardless of whether they were listed at his own expense," wrote Büsching. The order states that the recipients "may use it wherever they please, even if they are never used, because of the costs related to the reconstruction, nor should they ask for the slightest reimbursement."
The new buildings hit the housing market: "It is true that prices and rents have been falling since about 1769", when the king started to build the houses "and thereby provide more apartments". There was also resentment: “Quite a few residents of this city, who have their own houses in the way in which they either built or inherited them, complain about the royal building, declaring it harmful, because it is the value of them and everyone other houses built at the expense of their owners. "
In this conflict, Büsching is clearly on the side of the tenants, including his sovereign: "Alone without mentioning that this would make the city more beautiful and attractive, it is clear that the majority of the residents will benefit from this."
Even then, Berlin was a city of tenants, not the owner: “Probably, there are not 6000 owners of the houses in Berlin, but the families and individuals who live to rent are 4 or 5 times more, and this is for them Reduction of the rent is very desirable. So the king is. Overall, very advantageous construction. "
And the argument that the royal “rent brake” would expire the value of the houses is simply brushed aside by the socially minded author: “But it is wrong that the royal building is to blame for the fall in the prices of our houses, because in many others Cities not only of the royal, but also of the foreign countries, the price of the houses falls as much as here, to the clear proof that one is imagining a wrong cause of this case in Berlin. "
Büsching saw a kind of real estate bubble here: “It is probably still a result of the last war, in which many people earned large sums of money through trade and other undertakings, some of which they used on houses, ie above their value in price which must now fall after the amount of money has decreased. "
Frederick II became known for large representative buildings, he began to expand "Unter den Linden" to the boulevard, a whole series of buildings from his time such as the opera or today's Humboldt University still dominate the "Forum Fridericianum" at the beginning of the boulevard , But apparently he was also concerned with the common house, with the street scene away from the great monuments. His rent policy: build and let build. Of course, he only let the homeowners benefit from the money he had previously earned from the good citizen through taxes.
The book cited here is entitled “Anton Friedrich Büsching. Berlin Potsdam Brandenburg. 1775. Description of his trip to Reckahn ”has been lovingly reissued by Berlin Story Verlag. With many illustrations, Büsching's “hiking map” and an extensive document section. It has 755 pages.