Why KfW will soon no longer finance Efficiency House 55 – economy

If you are currently interested in a new apartment or want to finance a new home, you should carefully check the property you want – then hurry up if possible. Because the state is letting the funding of the so-called “Efficiency House 55” expire and very soon: the state bank KfW will only accept applications for promotional loans, including repayment or investment grants for such properties until the end of January. Later there is only money for the highest standards in the “Efficiency House 40”. For them, it remains with significantly higher funding.

Real estate is one of the most important areas if Germany is to meet its climate protection goals. The Federal Republic of Germany is expected to be climate neutral by 2045, in accordance with the stricter climate protection law. If the nearly 20 million residential buildings in the country alone do not quickly become much more economical, this will not be possible. The objectives in this area are all the more ambitious: the building sector emitted around 120 million tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2018; by 2030, the value is expected to be just over half of the value at 67 million tonnes. So much to do in a relatively short time.

In order to meet the target, the new federal funding for efficient buildings (BEG) only came into effect in the summer. Now that the rules have been adjusted again, the Federal Ministry of the Economy changed them, largely unnoticed by the public, a few days ago. In the future, this should allow as much money as possible to go where a lot can still be achieved at a relatively low cost: when renovating existing buildings. So far, things have been going far too slowly there, experts say. Currently, only just under one percent of buildings undergo energy retrofits each year, but at least twice as many are needed. Newly built efficiency houses 55 should therefore no longer be funded, they would have “largely prevailed” as the norm. Due to rising energy costs, these buildings are now often the most economical, even without any state funding.

Promotion in demand

However, this does not mean that the funding has so far not been gladly accepted: it was not until September that the federal government decided to increase the funds made available from 11.5 billion to 18 billion euros – just for this year. Record value. According to KfW, about half of this money is spent on new buildings, and most of this goes to various grants for Efficiency House 55. Last year the proportion was even higher. At that time, KfW had granted a total of 21.3 billion euros in subsidized loans for new constructions within the framework of the “Energy Efficient Building” program, of which more than three quarters for the Efficiency House 55.

The real estate sector reacted strongly to the end: the announcement of the Ministry of Economic Affairs was “completely incomprehensible and antisocial”, said the president of the Central Association of Real Estate and Real Estate Companies (GdW), Axel Gedaschko . The policies must accompany the climate objectives with sufficient financing, in particular in view of the objective of 400,000 new apartments per year issued by a possible coalition of traffic lights. The new funding requirements, however, “would act as a brake on construction.”

Interhyp, Germany’s largest mortgage broker, believes there is a possibility that more clients may apply for short-term KfW loans. “We expect builders and buyers who have planned to finance an energy efficiency 55 home now to prefer to apply,” said responsible board member Mirjam Mohr. Especially when they are well advanced in planning or want to buy a new building for which the efficiency class has already been determined.

Consumer advocates, on the other hand, see a completely different problem with KfW loans: many banks have absolutely no interest in educating their customers about financing. They preferred to grant their own unsubsidized loans, which were more lucrative than the KfW agency commission. There are many who do not even know that they can receive funds from the state. At least savings banks with their public mandate should be obliged to offer KfW loans, for example, demands Niels Nauhauser of the Baden-Württemberg Consumer Center.

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