"When did this happen to us? When did housing turn into a commodity? Why is housing being traded on the stock market? How is it that a public good is being used to make such astronomical profits?"
-Said by a Berlin resident who didn't move out of an apartment building, although they want him to move out (as every other tenant already has) to make room for them to demolish the building and build new apartments. He received threats and had his car set on fire, reportedly.
Rents have skyrocketed as global investments have poured into Berlin real estate.
A recent large referendum had 57% vote in favor of (who? the State? the city?) buying out companies who hold more than 3000 units. ("The most successful referendum in Berlin's history")
There's a line in Article 15 in the German Constitution that says property can be expropriated when it's for the public good. (There are lots of other options to fix the problem besides expropriation, however.)
It's a pattern that exists in most European cities. Demolishing old buildings and building new ones. Prices rising. Long term residents left with not much choice but to move elsewhere.
How can we contrast 'a public good being turned into a commodity' with having enough money to satisfy the market and the possibility of lack of such money being treated as sufficient excuse to seize property without consent (which, you could argue, is frequently done by governments during land development)?