List of the 5 largest housing companies in Germany
Compared to other countries, there is still comparatively little home ownership in Germany, but a lot of people live in rented accommodation. Professional renting is the business of housing companies. There are many of them in Germany, and they are run by different organisations. These are the 5 largest on the market:
1. Vonovia SE, Bochum
Vonovia is by far the largest housing company in Germany in terms of housing stock under management and has been a DAX-listed company since 2015. Vonovia was founded in 2001 as Deutsche Annington and at that time belonged to the Japanese finance and investment group Nomura. The company started its business by taking over around 64,000 railway workers’ flats that were privatised by the German government at the turn of the millennium.
In the following years, Deutsche Annington grew dynamically – mainly by buying up competitors. In 2005, for example, it took over the business of Viterra, Germany’s largest private housing provider at the time (152,000 residential units). In 2014, the two competitors Vitus and Dewag (together 40,000 residential units) were bought, followed by the takeover of Gagfah in 2015. In the same year, Deutsche Annington was renamed Vonovia. The group employs around 10,000 people.
Update 2022: Vonovia is also constantly refurbishing and developing its residential real estate portfolio. In May 2022, for example, it was announced that more than € 2 million would be invested in the string refurbishment and renovation of a residential building in the Landwasser neighborhood of Freiburg.
Update 2023: Earlier this year, Germany’s largest housing company announced that no new construction projects would be started in 2023. The construction freeze is justified by high inflation as well as increased interest rates, which make profitable real estate development difficult. The Group wants to wait until the interest rate on capital falls again or the government housing subsidy increases.
2. Deutsche Wohnen SE, Berlin
In 1998, Deutsche Bank founded Deutsche Wohnen, thus combining its residential properties – acquired from the Hoechst pension fund and the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. In 1999, the subsidiary was placed on the stock exchange; since 2006, Deutsche Wohnen has been independent of Deutsche Bank. In 2017, the company’s headquarters were moved from Frankfurt/Main to Berlin. Deutsche Wohnen’s flats are mainly located in Berlin, in the Rhine-Main region, in the Rhineland and in some larger German cities. The company has around 1,300 employees and has been listed on the DAX since 2020.
Update 2022: In May 2022, Deutsche Wohnen celebrated the topping-out ceremony for the Marienufer urban quarter in Treptow-Köpenick. Deutsche Wohnen’s new urban quarter will offer 1,200 apartments, commercial space, assisted living units and a daycare center.
3. SAGA Siedlungs-Aktiengesellschaft, Hamburg
The SAGA group of companies is the largest residential landlord in Hamburg and at the same time a company with a long tradition. Siedlungs-Aktiengesellschaft Altona (SAGA) was founded as early as 1922. In 1999 it merged with Gesellschaft für Wohnen und Bauen mbH (GWG), which had existed since 1926. The SAGA group of companies is under municipal ownership. The SAGA flats are almost exclusively located in the Hamburg city area. One out of six Hamburg residents is a SAGA tenant. The group employs around 1,000 people.
4. LEG Immobilien AG, Düsseldorf
In 1970, Landesentwicklungsgesellschaft NRW mbH was formed from the merger of several non-profit housing companies in North Rhine-Westphalia. Originally 68 percent state-owned and 22 percent owned by the state-owned NRW Bank, the company was privatised in 2008. The state shares were sold to the financial investor Whitehall Real Estate Funds, and the company was floated on the stock exchange in 2013. Since then, the housing company has traded under the name LEG Immobilien AG. The housing stock is located exclusively in North Rhine-Westphalia. LEG Immobilien employs around 1,400 people and has around 365,000 tenants.
5. Vivawest Wohnen GmbH, Essen
Vivawest is the second largest housing company in North Rhine-Westphalia after LEG Immobilien. The company was founded under the name Evonik Immobilien GmbH. Evonik Industries is a special chemicals company that was spun off from RAG Aktiengesellschaft – the former Ruhrkohle AG – in 2006. Evonik’s housing stock was combined in Immobilien GmbH. In 2011, the company was renamed Vivawest. In 2012, the company merged with THS GmbH, a long-established housing services group in the area of mine housing. THS alone contributed around 70,000 flats to the merger. Vivawest is 40 percent owned by the RAG Foundation, 26.8 percent by the Mining, Chemical and Energy Industrial Union.
Leads for property investors, real estate agents, consultants and more
The largest housing companies in Germany are not only active in purchasing properties and managing their own residential units, but some of them also sell their property portfolios. For this reason, our database is a valuable tool for real estate investors and investment managers to identify potential partners. Housing companies also represent an interesting target group for real estate agents and consultants from the real estate scene. The database is perfect for lead generation. You can sort the companies by the number of housing units they own, filter the companies by turnover or pick out companies that are realising new construction projects. In addition, the contact details contained are suitable for contacting potential business partners in an uncomplicated manner.
This information is included in the list
- Type of housing company: private, municipal resp. city or church
- Number of owned residential units, commercial units and parking spaces
- Management of third-party property (yes/no)
- Realisation of new building projects (yes/no)
- Active in property acquisition (yes/no)
- Turnover for the years 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015 as well as information on the number of employees
- General contact details incl. address, e-mail address, telephone number, website
- Names of the management
Municipal housing associations, private housing enterprises and church housing companies
A relevant share of residential real estate in Germany is managed by the largest housing companies. In particular, the largest German housing companies are listed on the stock exchange and manage a stock of several tens of thousands of residential units. Other housing societies are owned by municipalities and cities and fulfil an important function in the regional real estate market. Still other companies were founded by the church or have been in family hands for years.
Any questions? Get in touch!
Leo Semmelmann, Founder
contact [at] researchgermany.com
+49 (0) 89 38466606
We are looking forward to help you in case of any questions, remarks and individual requests. Feel free to get in touch via email, live chat or phone. We can also offer you package prices and can create individual lists.