As if living space in Vienna isn’t scarce enough, a major analysis by Statistics Austria shows that around 52,000 apartments in the federal capital are deliberately kept off the market.
If you look at the raw figures, 13.4 percent of living space in Austria is empty because no one is registered there. With a share of 9.7 percent – 104,272 houses and apartments in absolute figures – Vienna even has the lowest share of officially vacant living space in Austria. But the figures deserve a second look – and then a third, which shows the extent of Vienna’s housing shortage.
Intentional or involuntary vacancy?
A second look shows that there may be many reasons why no one is registered at an address: the living space may be involuntarily vacant, for example after a death, between two rental properties or in structurally weak neighborhoods due to a lack of demand. In some cases, such as allotment garden associations, rules prevent registration as living space.
What you can learn from the ski area numbers for Vienna
A (third) look at the figures for areas without tourism, house price increases and structural weaknesses shows an involuntary vacancy rate of five to seven percent. In ski areas, however, the share is between 55 and 57 percent.
Conversely, this means that in areas of high demand, of which Vienna is undoubtedly one, there is of course an ulterior motive behind every second address without – official – residents, namely approximately 52,000 apartments. For example, by keeping them empty for speculative reasons, secretly renting them out to tourists every day, and much more.
Living space withdrawn
In Vienna, however, the problem is different than in tourist communities: the population is growing and, moreover, living space in the inner neighborhoods is being deprived (see graph above). The standard of living in Vienna and the rest of Austria is already a world of difference. When it comes to apartment size, furnishings and the number of apartments per house, Vienna is well below the Austrian average. Housing costs are much higher.
I am Wallace Jones, an experienced journalist. I specialize in writing for the world section of Today Times Live. With over a decade of experience, I have developed an eye for detail when it comes to reporting on local and global stories. My passion lies in uncovering the truth through my investigative skills and creating thought-provoking content that resonates with readers worldwide.