Simply feel at home

The achievable dream of owning your own home

Anyone who dreams of becoming a homeowner will feel at home in the Northwest. There is scarcely another region in Germany where the proportion of owner-occupied properties is as high as it is here.

According to statistics published by NBank in 2013, 85% of people in the Cloppenburg district and 83% of people in the Oldenburg district lived in a property of their own. In the city of Oldenburg itself, the situation is more finely balanced, with 48% owning their property and 52% renting. As a comparison, the state capital of Hanover, the proportions are almost reversed. There, only 16% of people are home owners, while 84% rent.

In addition, the Northwest has an extremely favorable ratio of single or two-family homes compared to multi-family properties. For instance, NBank counted 43,236 houses that were either single-family homes or divided into a maximum of two units, and just 8,773 buildings with multiple units.
The town of Oldenburg itself has a more balanced ratio, with 40,000 single family homes compared to 44,000 multi-family properties.
 In Hanover there are scarcely any single family homes left (45,000). Most people there live in the 241,000 multi-family properties.

Rental properties to suit all needs

Everything is relative - in particular when viewing the market for rental properties. As such, the growing university city of Oldenburg has recorded rent increases for quite some time. According to statistics from the internet portal, the average price of a newly rented property was 7.40 euros per square meter last year. Five years ago, new tenants had to pay an average of six euros per square meter - 23% less than currently. The strained nature of the housing market in Oldenburg came to light at the start of the semester, when 4,168 new students had to seek accommodation in the town.

It may be of some comfort that the rental situation in comparable towns in Lower Saxony is similar or even more fraught. For instance in Osnabrück, the property portal reported on an average rental of 6.90 euros in the first half of 2013. There was a similarly significant price increase compared to 2008, at seventeen per cent. Hanover (with 7.20 euros per square meter) and Göttingen (with 8 euros per square meter) were also among the housing hotspots.

Life in the countryside

A rural cottage on the outskirts of town: while some people might see it as overly self-satisfied, many young adults see it as the fulfilment of a dream. That is the result of a survey by Forsa. When asked how they would prefer to live at the age of 40, roughly half (49%) of eighteen to thirty-five year-olds chose that as their preferred lifestyle.

Green spaces improve the microclimate and make an important contribution to biodiversity. These spaces are mainly used for leisure, including games and sports. The Northwest has something to offer here, too. Even in the city of Oldenburg, with approximately 160,000 inhabitants, unobstructed views of green spaces, parks and even small wooded areas can be found almost everywhere. At the edge of town and in the surrounding countryside, a garden or a lawn is an accepted part of almost every home. Here, you are just a few minutes away from the great outdoors.

A little green patch of happiness

A gazebo, country cottage, vegetable patch or an allotment: anyone who grew up in a city will be familiar with the longing for a touch of the good life. Although the Northwest is wonderfully green and lush, not every apartment has direct access to a garden, or its own terrace or balcony. Some people dream of growing their own fruit and vegetables, keeping animals or simply having somewhere to let their soul run free. Allotments are a way of meeting all of those needs. It goes without saying that protecting nature and the environment are major aspects of allotment life. When allotment holders were asked about the personal significance of their allotments, the environmental aspect was a major factor.

There's nothing old fashioned about gardening however: young families gravitate towards gardens more than ever, especially in larger cities, and discover the happiness that comes from having your own green space. The "urban gardening" movement reclaims public spaces that have been tarmacked over.