ivar tollefsen, German politics | The Berliners voted for a gigantic home purchase

Ivar Tollefsen is investing heavily in housing in Berlin. At the same time, residents have voted to buy him out.

Berlin’s local authorities may buy out Berlin’s largest landlords, including the Norwegian Ivar Tollefsen, after the proposal for a state acquisition of all rental companies with more than 3,000 apartments was adopted by a large majority in a referendum on Sunday night.

As many as 56 percent of the population voted in favor of the proposal and 39 percent voted against, according to Die Zeit.

– We have challenged powerful enemies and won. We do not disappear so quickly, says Johanna Kusiak, spokesperson for the initiative “Deutsche Wohnen & Co enteignen”, in a press release. Deutsche Wohnen is the largest landlord in Berlin, but Ivar Tollefsen’s Heimstaden, with 4,000 apartments, is also a large landlord.

Great buy

Interestingly enough, Tollefsen announced that he will buy up almost 14,000 apartments in Berlin on Sunday night, at the same time as the election result ticked in. Tollefsen will thus be more than four times as large in the city, in an agreement worth a whopping 92 billion Norwegian kroner.

Read more here: Ivar Tollefsen buys homes for NOK 92 billion

– We are pleased that we succeeded in buying these properties with high quality and central location, which gives us many positive synergies. After Akelius announced in June that they would dispose of the portfolio, it has been a priority focus with us, and we are very pleased to have reached our goal, writes Patrick Hall, CEO of Heimstaden Bostad in an email to Nettavisen.

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The uprising took place as a result of a ruling by the German Supreme Court that overturned Berlin’s decision on a ceiling on rental prices in the capital. The decision initially froze the rent level of 1.5 million of Berlin’s apartments for five years from June 2019, but the court ruled that the measure was illegal.

The popular movement called Deutsche Wohnen und Co. The property collected more than 350,000 signatures – significantly more than the number required to hold a referendum, which is 175,000 signatures.

Read more here: German activists threaten Norwegian billionaire: Can take over thousands of Ivar Tollefsen apartments in Berlin


The proposal, which could cost close to NOK 80 billion, is not legally binding, but is supported by the left-wing radical Die Linke, which participates in the local state government.

However, SPD politician Franziska Giffey, who could become the new mayor of Berlin, has stated that she is unsure whether the proposal can be implemented.

However, she emphasizes that she wants to look at the possibilities.

– We will respect the referendum and take the necessary initial steps, she says to national casket ARD.

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However, the activists are clear that they are not embarking on anything other than full implementation of the plan.

– We do not accept delaying strategies or attempts at derailment. We all know tricks. If the referendum is not taken into account, it is a political scandal. We will not give up until the nationalization of the housing groups has been completed, says spokesperson Kalle Kunkel in a press release.

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Hall in Heimstaden is on the side not very worried:

– Most political parties see the significant economic, legal and administrative challenges of carrying out an expropriation in practice, so our focus, as always, will be to deliver good housing and service to our German customers, writes Hall.

Activists say they are tired of the large increases in rental prices in Berlin, and on their own pages Deutsche Wohnen und Co. mentions The property development in rental prices as “madness”. Unlike in Norway, most residents of Berlin and large parts of the rest of Germany rent their homes.

Before the German election here: Election thriller in Germany: Massive losses for Merkel’s CDU