How does building differ in different countries

Own home: Building in Germany is more expensive than abroad

Tobias Just sees how durable a solid construction is every day. When the scientific director of the IREBS Real Estate Academy looks up from his desk, he can look back on 879 years of history. That is how old the Eberbach monastery in Eltville am Rhein, where the institute of the University of Regensburg is located, is. Built in 1136, its massive walls defied the Reformation, the Peasants 'War and the Thirty Years' War and also withstood the changing times after the secularization decreed by Napoleon Bonaparte.

For Just, the former monastery, which is under monument protection, is not just a cultural and historical monument. He also sees it as “a symbol for the German understanding of building culture”. Just as the monks put stone on stone to create a work that would endure epochs, most Germans also set about realizing their dream of owning their own home: stable, solid, storm-proof. “Anyone who creates real estate in this country prefers to build for eternity,” says the economist.

Fixed walls made of aerated concrete, triple-insulated windows with solid frames, on top of a roof made of fired clay tiles and inside all power, heating and water pipes meticulously laid under plaster - according to this standard, poured into various industrial norms and building regulations, single-family houses are built in Germany . The robust construction has a downside, however: "It makes building very expensive," says Just. "Nowhere in the world are the construction costs for new homes as high as in this country," says Thomas Beyerle, chief researcher at the real estate consultancy Catella.

Half as expensive in the US

A new standard single-family house with 110 to 120 square meters of living space in Germany can hardly be built for less than 200,000 euros. "Including property costs, builders have to raise amounts between 230,000 and 650,000 euros - depending on whether they are building somewhere in the country or in an expensive city," says Beyerle.

A look at other countries shows that it can be done much cheaper. In large parts of France and southern Europe, masonry is also used, but the lines are laid over plaster at low cost. In Scandinavia, the USA and Canada, wood is the building material of choice, with particle board forming the basic substance of the walls.