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TILIA Living Resort in Berlin: a vacation in your own home

Living a stone's throw from the heart of the city, while surrounded by nature: that's the reality of life at a new ecologically sound housing development in Berlin.

TILIA Living Resort in Berlin: a vacation in your own home

TILIA nestles in an idyllic lakeside location at Griebnitzsee where Berlin crosses over into Potsdam. Here, surrounded by nature, covering a total area of around 33.000 sqm, the project developer STOFANEL Investment AG has built around 50 villas and houses.

Built around a lake, the houses come in five categories, namely Villas, Dream Villas, Twin Villas, Gallery Houses and Atrium Houses. The villas and houses, with individual floor plans and living spaces ranging from 125 to 360 square meters and prices from €405.000 to €1,85 million, are in high demand. More than 50 percent of all houses have already been sold. The building works are continually progressing and can be observed from the TILIA showroom at lake Griebnitzsee.

Modern architecture and design meets nature

Together with the architect team QBQ & Partner, STOFANEL is planning modern and clear architecture with large window fronts and light-flooded rooms for maximum transparency. Carefully selected materials such as wood and natural stone, for example clinker, characterise the buildings and embed them individually in the surrounding nature.

“People look for homes in which they can find peace and regenerate themselves. To come home after a long, hard day at work and to look out onto the lake, at an unspoilt landscape, is a wish which we are making reality here at the Griebnitzsee lake,” says Giovanna Stefanel-Stoffel who founded STOFANEL Investment AG together with her husband, Ludwig Maximilian Stoffel.

“Particularly the unison of the outside and the inside, of nature and architecture, enables a joint and considerate living in and with nature.”

Ecology and sustainability of key importance

Furthermore, the consistent use of economical and renewable energy sources such as geothermal heat for heat generation, as well as the selection of ecological and recyclable materials, plays an important role for STOFANEL.

Living close to nature yet being part of the capital

In TILIA at lake Griebnitzsee, there is no trace of the hectic pace of the city. And yet, the hustle and bustle of two vibrant state capitals with a wealth of world heritage sites is so close at hand. This is what makes TILIA Living Resort unique.

Good schools, medical facilities and excellent shopping are all readily available thanks to fast access to the city: the rapid-transit railway will bring you to the well- known fashionable district of Kurfürstendamm in just 22 minutes, while the motorway is a mere 10 minute drive away.

There is something for everyone here: art and culture lovers, sailing enthusiasts, golfers and sport lovers.

The first villas in the TILIA Living Resort Griebnitzsee should be complete by autumn 2011, the whole project, including the established lake in the heart of the project, due in autumn 2012.

Visit our TILIA showroom open Friday till Sunday, from 1.00 pm to 5.00 pm. Or call us for an individual appointment. Tel +49 30 20 61 05 22

TILIA Living Resort Neue Kreisstraße/ Stubenrauchstraße 14109 Berlin

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OPINION & ANALYSIS

OPINION: Sweden’s ‘historic investment’ has failed to solve the housing crisis

Five years after Sweden's government promised to solve the country's housing crisis with a "historic investment", things are as bad as ever, David Crouch argues. Radical action is needed.

OPINION: Sweden's 'historic investment' has failed to solve the housing crisis

Forced to move house 20 times in the past eight years, Maria’s situation was desperate. She and her daughter had arrived in Stockholm from Latin America in search of a better life. She found work, no problem – but housing was impossible.

“Sometimes I was paying 12,000kr in rent and it was very hard because I only had 15,000kr in monthly salary,” says Maria (not her real name). So she took a high-interest loan of 240,000kr and tried to bribe someone in the Housing Agency to get to the front of the queue for affordable housing.

But she was caught. Her fate is unknown. And she didn’t even get an apartment.

This recent story, in the excellent newspaper of the Tenants’ Association, sums up the problems facing people who move here to work. The market for rental accommodation is tight as a drum. Finding a home means competing with Swedes, but with all the disadvantages of being an outsider. So people find themselves pushed into short-term, insecure rental contracts at inflated prices.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Five years ago this month, the government announced a “historic investment in housing”, including subsidies for construction companies, easing restrictions on building permits, and making more land available.

The housing situation at the time was grim. Spotify had threatened to leave Sweden if things didn’t improve – how could the company attract skilled young people to a city where there was nowhere for them to live? More than half Stockholm’s population – 600,000 people – were in the queue for a coveted rental apartment, because strict regulation meant these rents were low. But it took as long as 20 years to get to the front of that queue.

The result was a thriving rental property black market, with large bribes changing hands. Many tenants exploited the situation by sub-letting their homes, or parts of them. “It is almost impossible for immigrants and new arrivals to penetrate this market – it is all about who you know and how much money you have,” said Billy McCormac, head of the Fastighetsägarna property association, in 2015.

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So what has been the outcome of the grand promises the government made five years ago? House-building at the time was already rising steadily, and it has continued to do so. Look around you in the big cities and you will see that new apartment blocks have sprung up here and there.

But we shouldn’t go only on appearances. To understand the reality, we need to look at some numbers.

The gap between demand for housing and the existing housing stock has indeed started to shrink. “As housing construction has gradually increased and population growth has begun to slow down, the gap has decreased since 2017,” Stockholm’s Housing Agency noted in December.

The Agency has broken records four years in a row for the number of rental homes it has provided. The proportion of young adults living independently has also increased somewhat, the Tenants’ Association found, probably due to the pace of construction.

But this smidgen of good news is outweighed by an avalanche of bad.

The average queuing time in 2021 for a Stockholm apartment was more than 9 years; for somewhere in the city centre you have to wait 18 years. Only 936 homes came with a waiting time of less than one year. More than three-quarters of a million people are now registered in the queue for housing – a big increase on five years ago.

The rate at which the housing shortage is shrinking is nowhere near fast enough to alleviate the huge accumulated demand.

Assuming that the current pace of construction can be maintained, it will be the end of this decade before any significant dent is made in the deficit of homes, according to Boverket – the Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning. The current rate of construction is “only marginally more than the long-term need”, it says.

The challenge is even greater when it comes to producing affordable housing, Boverket says, especially for the young and those entering the housing market for the first time. Almost one in four young Swedes up to the age of 27 are forced to live at home – the second-highest figure since the measurements began.

There are already signs that housing construction is actually slowing down, owing to higher building material prices, rising interest rates and an incipient labour shortage. Construction prices rose by more than 8 percent last year, and there is concern in the industry that war in Ukraine will further affect costs, in turn slowing the pace of building.

There is another fly in the ointment, a consequence of the collapse of Sweden’s governing coalition in November. The new, minority administration was forced to adopt the opposition’s budget, which halted investment subsidies for house building, throwing the construction industry into confusion.

In short, the “Swedish model” for providing people with a roof over their heads is failing. The folkhemmet, or “people’s home”, has not enough homes for its people.

Swedes themselves understand this: in a survey last month, nine out of ten voters said they thought that politicians did not take the housing shortage seriously.

We have waited too long. It is time for fresh thinking and radical action to solve the housing crisis.

David Crouch is the author of Almost Perfekt: How Sweden Works and What Can We Learn From It. He is a freelance journalist and a lecturer in journalism at Gothenburg University

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