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Residential development

New housing in the Riedberg district © City of Frankfurt Dept. of Planning

The Frankfurt housing market is still dominated by shortages. Almost all market segments report a need and demand for housing.

For this reason, in addition to safeguarding the existing level of housing the City of Frankfurt is pursuing the goal of making sufficient land available for new housing to be built, taking requirements for different styles of living and different buildings into consideration.

The provision of housing in sufficiently high numbers and of the right quality is a core task for urban development planning. As a result, in 2003 the City of Frankfurt decided to develop the overall “Housing Master Plan” concept embracing among others the following areas: Guidelines for Housing, monitoring of the housing market, forecasts of housing requirements, and assessing potential areas for residential construction.

Whereas the “Guidelines for Housing” present the objectives and possible solutions to be adopted for housing policy in Frankfurt/Main, monitoring of the housing market provides analyses of the situation and ascertains housing requirements.

The current version of the housing market report and the Guidelines for Housing can be viewed on the Frankfurt.de Website by clicking Wohnen they are likewise available as downloads there.

The necessary provision of land for construction of new housing is documented in the list of potentials for housing construction.
In areas where the corresponding planning laws have been enacted, additional housing potential can be realized without it being necessary to make new plans. The Vacant Sites Register covers small-sized and/or little-used areas that are suitable for housing construction.
Moreover, the Dept. of Planning has established a section for the management of increased urban densities with the goal of activating the potential for boosting densities in housing areas and providing positive support for them.

Potentials for land for housing construction 2023

The number of Frankfurt inhabitants entitled to be residents (inhabitants with their main place of residence or secondary residence in Frankfurt) has steadily risen in recent years. In 2019, the so-called secondary place of residence tax came into effect in Frankfurt. As a result, the number of secondary places of residence and thus also the number of inhabitants entitled to be residents has fallen. Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, for the first time in two decades there was no notable increase in the population of Frankfurt/Main.

At present, the population is growing again. The decrease in the number of inhabitants seen in the two years defined by the Corona pandemic (2020 and 2021) has been offset. The number of persons entitled to be residents (inhabitants with their main place of residence or secondary residence in Frankfurt) is currently 776,349 persons.

In order to be able to estimate the population trend post-Corona, the Civic Office for Statistics and Elections has compiled a new population forecast. According to it, the population of Frankfurt will continue to rise: By 2035, Frankfurt will be home to over 827,000 persons and the forecast suggests that the number will climb to about 843,000 by 2045 (statistik.aktuell, issue 02/2023) .

In order to do justice to the rising demand for residential space, additional areas need to be activated for housing construction. The objective is to coordinate the preparation and provision of land for housing construction.

The basis for this is provided by an overview of the land potentials for housing construction. The list outlines potential areas that can take more than 50 housing units and where planning laws must be enacted in order to enable realization of the land potentials for housing construction. The planning horizon taken in that of 10 years.

The land potentials for housing construction listed are in different phases of realization. Before they can be made available as land for construction, as a rule they need to pass through various prior phases: exploration, legal planning; land readjustment, and access infrastructure provision. Given the multi-faceted processes involved, the overall forecast contains the corresponding uncertainties. The expected housing construction activity on the land parcels provided as a rule depends on individual decisions by the private owners of the land and it is thus only possible to provide guestimates.