Vonovia’s business model is based on the rental of good-quality, modern and, most importantly, affordable living space, the development and construction of new apartments, both for its own portfolio and for sale to third parties, and the provision of housing-related services. These housing-related services mainly relate to cable TV, energy services, automated meter reading and the senior-friendly modernization of apartments. This is supported by our caretakers and by our established craftsmen’s and residential environment organization.
To date, Vonovia’s business model has proven to be robust and largely resilient in these times of the coronavirus pandemic. There was no material impact on the net assets, financial position and results of operations. The focal point of Vonovia’s work of late has been the quest to successfully maintain its business processes and to protect customers and employees. The already high level of digitalization inherent in our business processes allowed us to transition almost seamlessly to working from home for back office functions. Interruptions on our building sites were not significant.
Our business model is also future-fit in the long run, as it can use sustainable new construction and refurbishment approaches, CO2 reduction in the real estate portfolio and innovations relating to the energy mix, materials, biodiversity, emissions and waste to contribute to solutions for climate protection objectives. Our neighborhoods, the main areas of action for creating a socially responsible housing industry, are to provide housing that responds to tenants’ needs as part of a process aimed at tenant participation so as to boost customer satisfaction and also contribute to the integration of our increasingly diverse society. Vonovia aims to be an attractive employer that ensures equal opportunities and supports staff members in their personal and professional development. Trustworthy, reliable and transparent corporate governance will lay the foundation for this.
Vonovia manages a housing stock of around 355,300 of its own apartments in almost all of Germany’s attractive cities and regions. It also manages a portfolio of around 38,200 units in Sweden and approximately 22,200 in Austria. The total fair value comes to around € 58.9 billion, with net assets based on the EPRA definition coming to approximately € 35.1 billion (European Public Real Estate Association; EPRA). In addition to its own apartments, Vonovia manages around 74,000 apartments for third parties. This makes Vonovia one of the leading residential real estate companies in Germany, Austria and Sweden, albeit with a very low market share of around 1.5% in Germany due to the highly fragmented nature of the market. Vonovia also holds a minority stake in a portfolio previously held by the French railway operator SNCF and in the Dutch company VESTEDA.
Vonovia’s roots and those of its predecessor companies extend back into the 19th century and lie in not-for-profit housing and housing for factory workers in Germany’s Ruhr region. Deutsche Annington and GAGFAH, for example, were originally set up to build apartments for the workforce: They were housing companies and cooperatives that built low-cost housing for workers, salaried employees and civil servants. Many of the housing developments built in that era were model projects of the time and are now covered by preservation orders. Living in neighborhoods known as “workers’ settlements” was about much more than just affordable living space. The residents were colleagues and neighbors; they worked and lived together. The approximately 600 neighborhoods that the company has today are one of Vonovia’s USPs and a focal point of the solutions to the megatrends facing us.
The age structure of Vonovia’s 355,300 or so German properties shows that around 69% were built between 1945 and 1980 and around 15% originate from the period before the Second World War, while around 16% were built after 1980. Just under 1% of the current portfolio was built after 2000.