Find out why Berliners voted to socialize almost 250,000 apartments and whether that could happen here.
BERLIN (Reuters) -A majority of voters in Berlin wants city hall to expropriate major landlords such as Vonovia and Deutsche Wohnen to help reduce rents in the German capital, provisional referendum results showed on Monday. Around 56% cast a ballot in favour of the non-binding initiative, compared to 39% against, Berlin government said following Sunday's vote, which was held alongside elections for the city government and the national parliament. The results come as Vonovia, the largest German residential rental company, said it had reached the 50% threshold needed to buy smaller rival Deutsche Wohnen, creating a housing behemoth with some 550,000 apartments worth more than 80 billion euros ($93.7 billion).
German property group LEG Immobilien is looking at expanding abroad and would also consider buying flats from Vonovia or Deutsche Wohnen should their merger go through, its CEO told Reuters on Tuesday. Germany's two biggest listed landlords Vonovia and Deutsche Wohnen have revived merger plans that are controversial in Germany because of tensions over soaring rents ahead of general elections in September. "If there are opportunities abroad we would look at that," CEO Lars von Lackum said in an interview, adding that neighbouring countries such as the Netherlands or Denmark were of interest.