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Austria offers a high standard of living, with excellent education, healthcare and economic opportunities. It scores highly on many global rankings for quality of life, Vienna even won the title of the world’s most liveable city for many years in a row. However, while the standard of living is high, the cost of living in Austria is also very high when compared to other European cities. Housing prices have been increasing in recent years, particularly in major cities like Vienna and Innsbruck and owning their own property still remains a big dream for a lot of young people.

Housing policies in Austria face several major challenges. In times of rising prices in almost every aspect, the debate about affordable housing, a basic human need, remains high in the focus of the media. Depending on regional variations, certain areas and districts may have lower standards of living than others. In Vienna the price of an apartment is relatively high compared to other European cities. It became increasingly difficult for young people to afford their own home due to rising property prices, a shortage of available properties, construction costs and new credit rules. As a result it is very challenging for young people to find affordable housing that meets their needs and for developers to build new homes at an affordable price. This shortage of available properties has led to inflated prices and bidding wars, making it even more challenging for people to purchase or rent a home. As a result, many young people are turning to alternative forms of housing, such as co-living spaces and subsidised housing programs. A key feature of Vienna ́s social system is the city ́s subsidised housing program, which provides affordable housing to low and middle-income residents, who need to meet certain income and residency requirements. In the early 20th century the city government built social housing projects to address the housing shortage. Even today the program provides affordable housing for Viennese residents, the apartments are rented at a subsidised rate. The program is considered a model for other cities in Europe. It has been praised for providing affordable housing to low- income residents and families with children. The Austrian government wants to implement various measures aimed at making it easier for young people to purchase their first home, including the reduction of state ancillary fees, which are transaction costs. These fees, associated with buying a property in Austria, include registration costs, notary fees and taxes. It can be difficult for young people to afford to purchase their first home due to the high costs. To address the issue, the state ancillary fees should be reduced for first-time homebuyers. It should be easier for young people to enter the property market and the financial burden should be reduced. This reduction is part of a package aimed at increasing access to affordable living in Austria. If state ancillary fees are reduced, home ownership can be more accessible and it will become easier for young people to achieve their goal of owning their own property. Due to rising construction costs, purchasing a home becomes very difficult and expensive. Material costs increase, safety regulations become more stringent and environment standards are on the rise. The cost of land has increased in many urban areas, making it more expensive to build a new home. Many young people who want to purchase their own place move from the city to the countryside. When it comes to housing prices, living in the countryside is less expensive. However, people have to travel further to access certain amenities, such as healthcare facilities, schools and cultural programs. Another challenge is the rent-purchase practice in Austria. These agreements allow people to rent a property for a period of time with the option to purchase the property at the end of the rental term. This can be a good option for people, who want to have their own home, but who do not have the financial resources to buy one just yet. They do not have to make the commitment upfront as they have time before purchasing the property. It is important to carefully review the terms of a rent purchase agreement to ensure that it is fair and reasonable, before signing it. However, there are currently not many models for rent purchase agreements in Austria. There needs to be more subsidised housing and rent-purchase agreements must be established in subsidised housing programs. There are several obstacles that can make it very challenging for young people to obtain credit for housing. Austria has implemented stricter procurement guidelines for home loans. Austrian banks are subject to strict regulations. They are required to carefully evaluate the creditworthiness before issuing a loan. Lenders typically require a down payment of at least twenty percent of the purchase price of a home in order to get a loan from the bank. This strict procurement guideline makes it even more difficult for young people to obtain home loans and purchase their own property. Many young people do not have the funds to make such a large down payment. Furthermore, there is a limited availability of affordable housing options in some areas in Austria, which makes it difficult for individuals to find a home within their budget. Due to the rising property prices, it is very difficult for young people to purchase a property or rent a place for themselves. Population growth leads to an increased demand for housing opportunities, especially in urban areas. Therefore living should be made more affordable, housing needs to be more accessible, renting a place should be easier and purchasing a property needs to have less regulations.