'Why Germans Rent And Brits Buy'

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Yellow Belt
Germany's finance minister Peer Steinbruck has criticised Gordon Brown's plan to get the UK out of recession as 'crass' and 'breathtaking'.

Many people rent in Germany rather than buy

Mr Steinbruck disagrees with the British PM's decision to cut VAT and increase borrowing.

So how different are the two nations when it comes to finance?The differences between property buying in the UK and Germany couldn't be bigger.

In Britain, there's 70% ownership while in Germany it's 30%.This has led to a property driven economy in the UK but has also sparked the problem of credit and mortgage payments.

Gordon Brown said last year that we have reached a golden age - but it has led to recklessness. You don't find this in Germany. Germans are a more careful, anxious people, some might say prudent.


Germans save a lot - 11% of their income which is the second highest in the world after Japan. In the UK, it's only 1.1%.


In Germany, people save for a rainy day and most rent in flats and don't have this 'front door letter box' syndrome that you have in Britain.

When it comes to mortgages, German's have never been able to borrow 90% of the house value and barely get 80%. They have to put down a quarter of the purchase price as a deposit.

Euro notes

Germans save a lot more than Britons

Banks would never give you the size of mortgages (up to 120%) you got in Britain. They check you are financially stable.

Germans are quite happy to pay rent. The property market has been depressed for a decade. Buying is not seen as an investment. You buy it, live in it and then it stays in your family and continues in the family.

There is so much spare space. Places are empty because Germany overbuilt after the Berlin Wall came down. They have not been looking at Britons with envy. They looked at them as foolhardy.

They were able to see through Britain's bubble and wondered at a society that could be so reckless. Debt amounts piled up by many British families over the last 10 years would create nightmares for most Germans. As a rule they are far more risk-averse, across the board, than their British counterparts.

Also in Germany, some of the rental market is controlled by the Government. Landlords are not free to charge what rent they want. The Government is seeking to protect tenants against landlords.



Yellow Belt
I think most countries in Europe display a more careful attitude toward borrowing/lending than we do in the UK.

Here it's just the accepted way of life. :rolleyes:
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