According to new data from Barkow Consulting, in February, the volume of new homeowner’s loans was cut in half compared to the same period in 2022.

According to the latest report issued by the consultancy, the Eurozone’s largest economy saw mortgage lending fall by a record 54% year over year. The report noted, “The decline in March will be even worse due to a base effect, given the record new business of €32.3 billion in 2022.”

The consultancy, based out of Dusseldorf, pointed out that the total new mortgage business figure of €12 billion ($13 billion) in February 2023 was the lowest reading since 2010, adding, “And this does not even take into account house price inflation.”

Germans have been under harsh economic pressures, as a worsening cost of living crisis has merged with rapidly rising interest rates to put the dream of home ownership out of reach for many Germans.

A recent poll of economists by the Reuters news agency found that experts are predicting a much steeper fall in home prices than previously expected as higher interest rates weigh heavily on demand.

It is projected that the average price of a home in Germany will fall 5.8% in 2023, and 2.5% in 2024.

A report by the German Property Federation noted in February that the shortage of housing in Germany was the worst seen in two decades. In addition, new residential construction is forecast to decline even further in the coming year.

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