Due to constant new construction, the total housing stock in Austria is steadily growing and reaches some 4.14 mill. units in 2011. This is more than 490 units per 1,000 inhabitants. In comparison, EU-average is some 450.

Some 58% of households live in their own property: 12% in condominiums in multi-apartment buildings and 46% in single family houses. The percentage of single family houses ranges from 80% in some rural provinces (Burgenland) to only 4% in the capital city Vienna. 40% of all households live in the rental sector which is divided into three sub-sectors. Private rental flats used to make the major part with approx. 600,000 units (17%), but they have been overtaken by the social housing sector in the recent decade. There are some 300,000 municipal dwellings (10%) in Austria, the majority of which (some 210,000 dwellings) are owned by the municipality of Vienna. Housing associations and cooperatives manage 510,000 rental flats (plus 240,000 condominiums). In total some 23% of the housing stock may be regarded as social housing rental stock. This is approx.10 percent points above EU-15 average.


Figure: Housing tenure (principal residence)

Housing Tenure (principal residence) from Statistik Austria

Source:  Statistik Austria, IIBW


By contrast to the European trend towards owner-occupation, Austria shows a different development. Social rental housing construction with a share of around one third still forms a very high proportion of total new construction. This represents a sufficiently large proportion to keep the rental housing stock constant over time. A major part of new social rental construction is endowed with a right to buy. Only since few years a trend towards owner-occupation is detected on the upscale market.


Housing provision in Austria shows an outstanding positive performance. The available floor-space per capita is with 43m² well above EU average (38m²). The by far biggest part of dwellings has all technical utilities. Quite important seems the social quality of housing provision.


New construction

Resulting from the important sector of subsidized housing, housing construction is relatively stable on a quite high level, well above EU average. In 2010 there have been 46,000 building permits, for 2011, a number of 47,200 permits is predicted. This is some 5.5 permits per 1,000 inhabitants, which is significantly above EU average of currently only 3.3 permits per 1,000 inhabitants (Euroconstruct, WIFO, IIBW). Contrary to many European countries, there was no decrease as a result of the economic crisis. Forecasts predict a continuously high construction output.


Figure: Housing construction / building permits

Housing Permits

Re.:  Euroconstruct countries = 17 EU countries + CH + Nor
Source:  IIBW; Statistik Austria, Euroconstruct; WIFO