Quartz explores Germany's low rate of home ownership, and finds it's due to a sensible mix of policy initiatives which result in decent rental housing, low rents (yes, low rents) and strong tenants'-rights protections:
By the time of Germany’s unconditional surrender in May 1945, 20% of Germany’s housing stock was rubble. Some 2.25 million homes were gone. Another 2 million were damaged. A 1946 census showed an additional 5.5 million housing units were needed in what would ultimately become West Germany.
Germany’s housing wasn’t the only thing in tatters. The economy was a heap. Financing was nil and the currency was virtually worthless
. (People bartered.) If Germans were going to have places to live, some sort of government program was the only way to build them.
And don’t forget, the political situation in post-war Germany was still quite tense. Leaders worried about a re-radicalization of the populace, perhaps even a comeback for fascism. Communism loomed as an even larger threat, with so much unemployment.
West Germany’s first housing minister—a former Wehrmacht man by the name of Eberhard Wildermuth
—once noted that
”the number of communist voters in European countries stands in inverse proportion to the number of housing units per thousand inhabitants.”
Here's the rental cost comparison: