Deutsche Wohnen’s roots go all the way back to the 1920s: 1924 saw the establishment of GEHAG (Gemeinnützige Heimstätten-, Spar- und Bau-Aktiengesellschaft), a property company with one of the richest traditions in Germany. With its groundbreaking buildings and developments, GEHAG has written a key chapter in the social and architectural history of the 20th century. A significant proportion of the company’s Berlin portfolio of over 100,000 residential units is listed.
Deutsche Wohnen AG was founded in 1998 as a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt am Main and pooled the bank’s residential property portfolio. The company initially mainly had residential holdings in the Rhine/Main region and Rhineland-Palatinate. In 1999, Deutsche Wohnen AG was listed on the stock exchange.
2007 saw the merger of GEHAG and Deutsche Wohnen AG.
Since 2008, four of Deutsche Wohnen’s estates have been classed as UNESCO World Heritage sites as important instances of Berlin Modernism (“Berliner Moderne”): the Britz Horseshoe Estate, the Weiße Stadt, the Carl Legien Estate and the Siemensstadt Ring Estate. The estates stand out internationally not just for their significance but also for their good state of repair. In the 1920s, with these Berlin estates, classical modernist architects reacted to the housing crisis following the First World War at the pinnacle of architecture.
Another major milestone in recent history was the Deutsche Wohnen group joining the MDAX in 2010.
In 2012, Deutsche Wohnen took over the BauBeCon portfolio, with about 24,000 residential units, tapping into new core regions in Lower Saxony and central Germany.
In late 2013, Deutsche Wohnen AG took over GSW Immobilien AG, with around 60,000 residential units, becoming one of the biggest landlords in the capital. Like GEHAG, GSW was founded as the municipal “Wohnungsfürsorgegesellschaft Berlin mbH” in 1924 and can also boast over 90 years’ experience in property management.
Deutsche Wohnen backed expansion in another area, too: after some years, the company created another new construction in 2015 – the Potsdam district of Babelsberg saw densification in the form of the construction of 91 rental apartments and twelve terraced houses as a sensible addition to an existing 1928 railway estate.
In 2016, the company Vonovia SE launched a takeover bid to the shareholders of Deutsche Wohnen AG. This hostile bid failed. It fell well below the minimum acceptance threshold of 50% of share capital.
Deutsche Wohnen also strengthened internal growth in 2016 through modernisation, densification and new construction with a EUR 1.5 billion programme of investment. At the same time, the Nursing and Assisted Living divisions were strengthened by targeted acquisitions and new construction.
In 2017 Deutsche Wohnen moved its registered office from Frankfurt am Main to Berlin, where the main branch was already located. In the same year, Deutsche Wohnen AG became a European company. Since then, it has operated under the name of Deutsche Wohnen SE.
In the years that followed, the focus has been on making Deutsche Wohnen fit for the future. The takeover in 2018 of GETEC media GmbH (now SYNVIA media GmbH), a company specialising in ultra-modern telecommunications services and developing smart building system solutions, is a key step in Deutsche Wohnen’s digitalisation strategy. Meanwhile, processes are being optimised and tasks centralised in order to improve service for tenants.
In July 2019, Deutsche Wohnen published a tenant promise. It pledged to rent one in four apartments to tenants entitled to social housing and make changes to rent in line with the rent index and modernisation according to tenants’ individual life and financial circumstances and to limit these if necessary.
In early 2020, the company celebrated the completion of a new construction in Leipzig and significantly strengthened its expertise in this area once again with the acquisition of the ISARIA München Projektentwicklungs GmbH. Deutsche Wohnen aims to invest over EUR 5 billion in new construction and sustainable neighbourhood development in the coming years.
Twenty-one years after it was listed on the stock market, in June 2020, Deutsche Wohnen joined Germany’s leading index, the DAX.
The most important milestones in our company history
|1924||GEHAG was founded in Berlin|
|1925||Start modern housing development|
Completion of world-famous Britz Horseshoe Estate
|1998||Privatisation||Start operational business activity|
|1999||Initial public offering|
|2006||Acquisition Eisenbahn-Siedlungs-Gesellschaft and Fortimo GmbH||Termination of domination agreement Deutsche Bank|
Merger GEHAG and Deutsche Wohnen
|2008||Classification of Deutsche Wohnen’s estates as UNESCO World Heritage sites|
|2010||Rise in the MDAX|
|2012||Purchase of BauBeCon portfolio|
|2013||Takeover GSW Immobilien AG (Berlin)|
|2014||90 years of GEHAG|
Beginning of new construction after almost 20 years in Potsdam-Babelsberg. Development project awarded the “Gold” certificate by the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB).
|2016||Beginning of capital expenditure/new construction investment programme|
|2017||Name change to Deutsche Wohnen SE, Berlin|
|2018||Takeover of GETEC media GmbH (now SYNVIA media GmbH)|
|2019||Takeover of PFLEGEN & WOHNEN HAMBURG GMBH|
|Voluntary commitment “Our promise to tenants”|
|2020||Strengthening new construction: takeover of ISARIA München Projektentwicklungs GmbH|
|Joining the German leading index DAX|