List of the largest housing cooperatives and building associations in Germany for immediate download
The municipal housing companies and building cooperatives (or building clubs) are an important part of the German real estate market. In many cities, a large part of the housing is owned by cooperative associations or municipal building associations, some of which also manage third-party property. These are also responsible for numerous large-volume construction projects. With our list of the most important housing cooperatives and municipal housing associations in Germany, we provide easy access to the most important players. The database is available for immediate download and can be sorted, filtered and edited according to your requirements. The overview includes contact details as well as information on the housing stock.
Our address database offers easy access to Germany’s largest building associations and building cooperatives
Housing cooperatives and building associations have a long tradition in Germany. They have been creating affordable housing for their members since the end of the 19th century and play an important role in the real estate industry. However, until now there has been no comprehensive overview of these players, making it difficult to approach them. With our list of the largest municipal and cooperative housing companies, we have changed this. The database is perfect for approaching the companies and saves you hours of research
In addition to building cooperatives from Germany, the list also includes municipal and communal housing societies
Besides building cooperatives, municipal housing associations are also relevant actors when it comes to affordable housing. Especially in Berlin, Frankfurt and other major German cities, they play an important role in the local housing market. For some years now, they have been increasingly in the spotlight again and are in demand among construction companies, financing partners, urban planners and more. Since building cooperatives and housing associations are very similar in their work, we have combined both types of housing associations in one list.
You can find this information in the list of the largest cooperative and municipal housing associations
Contact details (address, e-mail address, telephone number, URL)
Names of management
Number of own housing units, commercial properties and garages
Does the company undertake new construction projects? (Yes / No)
Is the company active in third-party management? (Yes / No)
List of the 5 largest residential construction companies
Housing cooperatives emerged at the end of the 19th century as self-help institutions to remedy the often desolate housing situation in large cities. In the Weimar Republic and after the Second World War, there was a veritable cooperative boom. In the meantime, the old idea is experiencing a renaissance.
1st place: Vonovia SE, Bochum
Vonovia SE is Germany’s largest residential real estate group by portfolio and has its origins in social housing construction. The company, which has existed under this name since 2001, has a complicated history. It began with the privatisation and takeover of around 64,000 railway workers’ flats. Today, the housing stock in the DACH region numbers over 400,000 flats. This growth was made possible primarily by acquisitions. Vonovia is currently aiming for a merger with Deutsche Wohnen.
2nd place: BPD Immobilienentwicklung GmbH, Frankfurt/Main
BPD stands for Bouwfonds Property Development, a project developer founded in the Netherlands in 1946. Today, the company focuses its activities on the Netherlands and Germany. The German business is managed by the subsidiary in Frankfurt, which has been active in residential construction since 1993. The company employs around 700 people and is represented at more than 16 locations in Germany. Since its foundation, more than 365,000 properties have been built.
3rd place: Zech Group SE, Bremen
The Zech Group is a hybrid, family-owned northern German group with a focus on construction and project development. Residential construction and housing projects take place in the Real Estate division. Residential real estate forms a segment alongside commercial real estate, logistics real estate and funds and asset management. In residential projects, Zech operates under the brands “Die Wohnkompanie”, “Deutsche Wohnwerte” and “Zech Immobilien GmbH”. A current project is the new quarter “Die Macherei Berlin-Kreuzberg” (among others with 300 flats, completion 2023/24).
4th place: Bonava Deutschland GmbH, Fürstenwalde (Brandenburg)
Bonava is a Swedish project developer for house and flat construction with an international orientation. The company emerged from the Swedish construction and real estate group NCC in 2016. The subsidiary Bonava Germany operates as a property developer and project developer. It is primarily active in the Berlin area and also in other German conurbations such as the Rhine-Main region, the Cologne-Bonn region, Hamburg and the Rhine-Ruhr region. Bonava Germany has more than 1,000 employees.
5th place: Instone Real Estate Group AG, Essen
Instone Real Estate emerged in 2017 from the merger of Formart and GRK-Holding and has been listed on the stock exchange since 2018. The SDAX company operates as a project developer for residential real estate. If the predecessor companies are taken into account, more than one million square metres of residential space have been developed since 1991. Instone Real Estate plans and realises mixed quarters, apartment and multi-family houses as well as publicly subsidised residential buildings in Germany. The company has almost 400 employees.
Building Cooperatives & Municipal Housing Associations as Partners for Real Estate Professionals
With Research Germany, we have focused on the investment and real estate industry in Germany and Europe. Our research team has already created numerous data sets with relevant players from the real estate scene. These include, for example, the list of the largest real estate project developer or the list of the most important property management companies. With our products, we have been able to support real estate agents, consultants, project developers, co-investors and other players in building sustainable business relationships. An ideal complement is the list of the largest building cooperatives and municipal housing associations. The housing associations are very diversely positioned, implement new construction projects and partly manage third-party property. Their good networking in the local real estate scene makes them very attractive to numerous partners.
Research Germany service: free preview file, regular updates, top customer support
The Research Germany team attaches great importance to high customer satisfaction. For us, this does not only mean that we conduct top-quality research in order to provide you with the best possible lists. Rather, we support you before and after the purchase and are happy to answer any questions you may have. You are basically interested in the list and would like to convince yourself of the data quality? Simply send us an e-mail to contact [at] researchgermany.com and we will be happy to send you a preview file. Even if you are looking for individual data sets or extensions to our lists, we will be happy to help you. In addition, we provide regular updates so that the data is always up to date and new players are also included in the database.
Image sources: Scott Webb, Grant Ritchie, Felix Neudecker
History of building cooperatives in Germany up to the 20th century
Victor Aimé Huber was the ideological father of housing cooperatives and encouraged their foundation as a self-help organisation to combat the housing shortage. The first housing cooperative was founded in 1862 as a house-building cooperative in Hamburg and still exists today as the Allgemeine Deutsche Schiffszimmerer Genossenschaft. The idea of housing cooperatives is thus far more than 150 years old. Originally, they were founded by members of the middle or upper classes, as the industrial workers concerned often did not have the necessary capital resources to undertake such building projects. The establishment of housing cooperatives gained momentum when the Cooperatives Act was amended in 1889 to allow for limited liability of members. Previously, members had unlimited private liability for the economic success of a cooperative, which many considered too high a risk.
History of German housing cooperatives from the 20th century onwards
At the end of the First World War, 1400 building cooperatives existed. In the 1920s, there was a great housing shortage as a product of displacement and war damage, so by 1928 the number of housing cooperatives had increased to over 4000. Now, however, they were often financed and organised by those seeking housing, in contrast to the previous century. During the Nazi period, the housing cooperatives were forcibly melted down and placed under National Socialist leadership, so the number of cooperatives fell dramatically. In 1949, there were about 1600 housing cooperatives, and these also had fewer members than in the pre-war period. From then on, the path of the cooperatives differed between West and East Germany. In the West, they were a popular vehicle for reconstruction and participated actively in it, alongside private owners and public housing associations, and supported by loans and credits from the federal government. This policy continued into the 1980s, when the situation in the housing market gradually eased. In the GDR, the cooperatives were transformed into workers’ housing cooperatives and provided housing for the large industrial combines. In doing so, however, they took into account the financial and material assets of their future residents. In the GDR there was a further concentration of these workers’ housing cooperatives and old cooperatives, which are still among the largest housing cooperatives today. After reunification, the number of cooperatives remained roughly constant at around 2000 nationwide; many East German cooperatives had to reconstitute themselves as a result of changes in the law. Today, major structural differences are evident between West and East Germany. For example, although 60% of housing cooperatives exist in West Germany, the number of dwellings is almost identical in both parts of the country. This means that housing in cooperatives is much more important than in the West, with 12% of all dwellings in East Germany compared to 4%.
Current situation of housing cooperatives in Germany
The number of cooperatives declined until 2000, when one can speak of a renaissance of the cooperative idea. Especially in the large metropolises of the republic, cooperative building is again very popular. According to a media report from Munich, however, it is mainly for the educated middle classes and that also preferably in small or micro-projects. Several parties join forces to build a neighbourhood or apartment building. A trend that is emerging is the cooperation between the classic building cooperatives and smaller building communities to manage large projects such as entire neighbourhoods. One example is the Baakendocks, a large-scale project in Hafencity, which, in addition to the traditional cooperatives HANSA and Bauverein der Elbgemeinden, is also managed by Baugemeinschaft Tor zur Welt, a cooperative that was only founded in 2014 with the sole aim of creating affordable and socially acceptable housing in this area. The cooperation between housing cooperatives in the construction and development of areas, especially in the metropolises, has become necessary in order to be able to pay prices in line with the market in often very overheated markets. Today, cooperatives still have a major influence on the real estate market throughout Germany. There are 2.2 million of such flats in the entire federal territory and they give five million people a home. One in ten rental flats is part of a cooperative and with the current appeal of the model, it is safe to assume that this number will continue to rise.
Alejandro Garcia –
Thank you for this high quality list. It really gives a good overview over the sector which helped me a lot.