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COST OF LIVING

Renting in Austria: Where is expensive – and where can you find a bargain?

The coronavirus pandemic has shaken up Austria's rental market. Here's where costs have risen - and the one state where rental costs have fallen.

Scaffolding on a high-risk apartment
hoto: Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP

Across Austria, rents rose on average 14 euros per square metre in 2020 – an increase of five percent on prices from 2019. 

Rents rose in all but one Austrian state. Predictably, rents are the highest in the urban and western states, particularly Vienna and Tyrol. 

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

Rents increased sharply in Vienna in 2020 – by €15.8 per square metre (4.8 percent). 

Rents also rose in the west of the country. In Tyrol, there was an increase of €16 per square metre (5.1 percent). 

Tyrol remains the most expensive state in Austria to rent a property, while Vienna is the second most expensive. 

In Vorarlberg, there was an increase of 4.1 percent – or €15 per square metre, making it the third most expensive state for rentals in Austria. 

Rents declined in only one Austrian state – Burgenland, where they fell by 2.4 percent or €9.30 per square metre. 

Burgenland remains the cheapest state in Austria when it comes to rental prices, followed by Lower Austria where the costs are €11.20 per square metre (a 0.5 percent increase on 2019 prices). 

Where has the demand for houses risen the most in Austria? 

The impact of the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown has meant that homes with gardens are more popular than ever. 

“Although our current trend study shows that Austrians are basically satisfied with their living situation, the dream of owning their own house has become firmly entrenched for many in 2020,” said ImmoScout managing director Markus Dejmek. 

The demand has been greatest in the extended suburbs of Vienna and Graz, where urban residents have been looking to get a little more green space. 

The increase in house demand has also been felt in a number of other Austrian states. 

According to ImmoScout, demand has been particularly strong for second homes or holiday homes. 

The highest increase was in Carinthia, where demand grew by approximately 76 percent. 

In Lower Austria (63 percent), Styria (59 percent) and Burgenland (55 percent) demand also grew dramatically. 

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MONEY

EXPLAINED: How to claim your €150 energy discount in Austria

Austria is sending out "energy vouchers" to some four million households, in an effort to cushion rising living costs in the country.

EXPLAINED: How to claim your €150 energy discount in Austria

By the end of May, around four million households in Austria will receive a voucher worth € 150 to discount their energy bills. 

The one-off payment is part of a larger package by the federal government to assist residents as the country faces soaring energy prices and increasing inflation, as reported. 

Around one million vouchers will be sent each week, and each primary residence should receive a voucher by post by the end of May.

The bonus is directly connected to the electricity supplier. It can be redeemed by single-person households with an annual income of up to € 55,000 or residences with more people and up to € 110,000 yearly income.

voucher for energy costs in austria

The website to redeem the energy voucher can also be found in English.

How do I redeem the voucher?

The € 150 discount voucher will be mailed to households and can be redeemed online. People entitled to the discount can scan the QR code on the voucher or go to the official government page, which also has an English version.

READ ALSO: Is Austria set for a gas price hike – and what can you do to avoid it?

You are then prompted to enter the data of the energy customer and asked to keep the voucher number and check number so you can check the status of the application.  

According to the official page, consumers should receive a credit worth €150 with their energy provider’s annual or final invoice. 

The voucher can also be redeemed by post. You need to confirm your main residence, that you do not go over the income limit (for a single-person household, the limit corresponds to a monthly gross salary of about €5,670 for employees, double that for multi-person homes).

You should also specify your electricity supplier, note down your voucher number and your check digit and complete the fields in the voucher. Finally, you can then send the return envelope back by post.

The voucher must be redeemed, either electronically or by mail, at least until October 31st. 

Who can redeem the voucher?

Every registered person registered in the central office (Zentralen Medleregister) with a primary residence in Austria will receive a voucher by mail, but not everyone can redeem it.

According to the federal government, people must have had their main residence at the registered address for at least one day from March 15th 2022, to June 30th of the same year. 

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Why are fuel prices increasing faster in Austria than elsewhere in the EU?

Additionally, the person who redeems needs to be the paying customer of an energy supplier, so if you have moved abroad and no longer have a contract, you can no longer use the voucher and not go over the income limits. 

People can only redeem one voucher, so if you moved your main residence within this period and received two vouchers, only one can be used. 

What if I haven’t received my voucher?

The government intends to send the vouchers by post until the end of May. Still, it alerts that if you haven’t received one by July 2022, you can use the website to check what happened or call 050 233 798 and request a voucher until August 31st. 

READ ALSO: Will inflation force tax changes in Austria from 2023?

What if the € 150 is higher than the amount due in the electricity bill?

In that case, according to the federal government, the excess amount will be credited by the electricity supplier for later invoices. 

Useful vocabulary

Voucher – Gutschein

Electricity supplier – Stromlieferant

Main place of residence – Hauptwohnsitz

Income Limitation – Einkunftsgrenze

Payslip – Lohnzettel

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