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How has the coronavirus pandemic impacted Vienna’s property market?

Real estate prices have skyrocketed in Vienna despite the coronavirus pandemic. Is it possible to still find a bargain?

How has the coronavirus pandemic impacted Vienna's property market?
Photo: DPA

Anyone hoping that the coronavirus pandemic would dampen rising property prices in the Austrian capital was in for a rude shock. 

Figures from the third quarter of 2020 show that property prices have increased in 19 of the city’s 23 districts, with some increasing by up to 16 percent. 

READ: Is it better to buy or to rent property in Austria?

On the whole, property costs increased by an average of seven percent across Vienna. 

The study was completed by Austrian real estate site Immowelt

While supply has increased to help match demand in Vienna, the majority of new apartments have been in the ‘luxury’ category – complete with roof terraces and gardens – meaning that overall prices have seen an increase. 

The report compared prices in 2019 and prices in September 2020. 

Where are prices on the rise? 

Prices rose by a massive 16 percent in the upmarket Währing district, home to Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. 

Leopoldstadt saw an increase of 14 percent, while prices in Mariahilf and Neubau rose by 13 percent. 

Prices increased in 15 other Vienna districts (see full table below). 

According to the authors, central districts as well as those close to public transport saw the biggest increases. 

“The well-connected districts close to the city centre are particularly popular with property developers and seekers. The strongest increase of all Vienna districts is therefore in Währing (as this district embodied all of these factors).”

Where did prices fall? 

Prices only fell in three of Vienna’s 23 districts – while they stayed the same in Ottakring.

There was a one percent price fall in Hernals, while Meidling saw a relatively large six percent decline. 

The final district to fall was Vienna’s Innenstadt – by around three percent – although bargain hunters will be disappointed to see that prices are still double pretty much any other district in the city at €11,800 per square metre. 

“If you want to buy an apartment there, you have to reckon with prices above the million mark,” the authors wrote.

“This is mainly due to the fact that the already limited supply in the centre is mainly limited to the luxury area.”

Where can I find a bargain? 

If you’re looking for a bargain on a new apartment, you’d probably be best to look outside Vienna considering overall prices rose by seven percent within a year. 

Even in the cheapest parts of the city, prices were on the rise, including Favoriten (7%), Simmering (10%), Floridsdorf (7% and Liesing (6%). 

According to the authors, the distance to the city as well as the comparatively modest offerings available in these areas have contributed to the lower prices. 

“The fact that the purchase prices are significantly cheaper in the outskirts is due to the location, but also to the structure of the offerings,” they wrote.

“Compared to the centre, buyers will find significantly more existing apartments with average equipment on the outskirts.”

Overall summary: 2019 average to 2020 average and percentage increase (from Immowelt.at)

Vienna total 4,260 EUR 4,570 EUR + 7% 

1st Innenstadt 12,140 EUR 11,800 EUR -3% 

2nd Leopoldstadt 4,750 EUR 5,430 EUR + 14% 

3rd Landstrasse 4,790 EUR 5,180 EUR + 8% 

4th Wieden 5,640 EUR 6,030 EUR + 7% 

5th Margareten 4,300 EUR 4,560 EUR +6 % 

6th Mariahilf 5,190 EUR 5,860 EUR + 13% 

7th Neubau 5,190 EUR 5,860 EUR + 13% 

8th Josefstadt 6,410 EUR 7,070 EUR + 10% 

9th Alsergrund 5,410 EUR 5,960 EUR + 10% 

10th Favoriten 3,640 EUR 3,880 EUR +7 %

11. Simmering 3,650 EUR 4,000 EUR + 10% 

12. Meidling 4,260 EUR 4,010 EUR -6% 

13. Hietzing 4,600 EUR 5,140 EUR + 12% 

14. Penzing 4,060 EUR 4,240 EUR + 4% 

15. Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus 4,050 EUR 4,290 EUR +6 % 

16. Ottakring 4,250 EUR 4,230 EUR 0% 

17th Hernals 4,270 EUR 4,210 EUR -1% 

18th Währing 4,680 EUR 5,450 EUR + 16% 

19th Döbling 4,830 EUR 5,310 EUR + 10% 

20th Brigittenau 3,890 EUR 4,170 EUR +7 %

21. Floridsdorf 3,840 EUR 4,090 EUR + 7% 

22. Donaustadt 4,140 EUR 4,250 EUR + 3% 

23. Liesing 3,860 EUR 4,090 EUR + 6% 

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LIVING IN AUSTRIA

What is Austria’s Mutter-Kind-Pass and how is it changing?

The Mutter-Kind-Pass is hitting the headlines as the Austrian Federal Government plans a reform of the scheme. Here's how it works now, why it is necessary and how it will change in the future.

What is Austria’s Mutter-Kind-Pass and how is it changing?

The Mutter-Kind-Pass (Mother-Child-Pass) was launched in Austria in 1974 to ensure the health and wellbeing of pregnant women and their babies.

It grants pregnant women free access to essential examinations and consultations, and serves as a record of healthcare.

But big changes are on the cards for the pass as a digitization reform is planned for the coming years, while disputes continue about the cost of the scheme.

Here’s what you need to know about how the Mutter-Kind-Pass works, why it’s necessary and how it will change. 

FOR MEMBERS: What are the rules about turning on the heating in the workplace in Austria?

What is the Mutter-Kind-Pass?

The Mutter-Kind-Pass is a small, yellow passport-style document to provide and track healthcare for pregnant women and young children in Austria.

It is issued to a woman when a pregnancy is confirmed by a doctor and contains records of medical examinations during pregnancy. As well as health check-ups for the child up to five years of age.

The Mutter-Kind-Pass exists to ensure pregnant women and children get the necessary medical care they need.

For example, women in Austria are entitled to five medical check-ups throughout their pregnancy including blood tests, internal examinations, ultrasound scans and consultations with a midwife.

READ ALSO: Reader question: Am I liable for ambulance costs in Austria?

Who can get the Mutter-Kind-Pass and how much does it cost?

Any pregnant woman living in Austria can get the Mutter-Kind-Pass (and subsequent health examinations) for free.

However, all examinations must take place with a doctor that is registered with a health insurance company in Austria.

Women without health insurance need a confirmation of entitlement from the Austrian health insurance fund that is responsible for the area where they live.

This is a required step before any examinations can take place free of charge.

Why is the pass necessary?

The Mutter-Kind-Pass and its mandatory examinations are primarily used to detect any illnesses or possible complications early. 

The expected date of delivery is also entered into the Mutter-Kind-Pass, so the document is needed to receive maternity pay in Austria.

Additionally, proof of examinations are required to receive the full entitlement to childcare allowance (Kinderbetreuungsgeld). This means the pass should be taken to every maternity-related appointment, as recommended by the Österreichische Gesundheitskasse.

How is the Mutter-Kind-Pass being reformed?

On Wednesday 16th November, Minister for Women and Family Affairs Susanne Raab (ÖVP) and Minister of Health Johannes Rauch (Greens) announced a reform of the Mutter-Kind-Pass.

The most notable change will be a transition from the paper booklet to a digital app in 2024, as well as new services and a name change to the Eltern-Kind-Pass (Parent-Child-Pass).

Raab said: “In addition to the services in the area of ​​health care, we will introduce parent advice, which should be a compass for the new phase of life for new parents.”

The new services will include counselling, an extra consultation with a midwife, an additional ultrasound, hearing screenings for newborns, nutritional and health advice, and multilingual information in digital form.

Photo by Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash

In the future, parents-to-be and new parents will also be offered parenting advice when they have their first child, for example on the compatibility of employment and childcare, on the division of parental leave or on the effects of part-time work on pensions.

“The mother-child pass has been an essential part of maternal and child health in Austria for decades. Now we have managed together to further develop this important instrument in a contemporary form”, said Rauch.

READ NEXT: EXPLAINED: What you need to know about parental leave in Austria

The implementation of the parent-child passport is a comprehensive, multi-year project and will begin with digitisation from next year.

The annual budget for the Mutter-Kind-Pass is currently €62 million and an additional €10 million from EU funds has been allocated to cover the cost of the reforms. 

However, there have been debates in recent months about the general cost of the pass. 

As a result there are ongoing negotiations between insurance companies and the Medical Association about the reimbursement of fees for providing healthcare and examinations.

READ ALSO: ‘Better and cheaper’: What foreigners really think about childcare in Austria

Der Standard reports that the Medical Association is threatening to discontinue the Mutter-Kind-Pass at the end of the year if an agreement on doctors fees cannot be reached. If that were to happen, expectant mothers would have to pay for examinations.

Currently, doctors receive €18.02 per examination and the Association is calling for an 80 percent increase.

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