Homes-uP – Single Family Homes under Pressure?

Haus im Grünen

In the Homes-uP project a team of German researchers and international partners is investigating the development of the stock of single family homes. They are particularly examining the effects of the demographic change and changing family constellations on the stock of single family homes. Moreover, there will be an analysis of the influences certain factors like climate change, economic and financial crises have on the future of the single family homes’ real estate market segment.

Research Approach

To start with, social, economic, planning and ecologic challenges relevant for the stock of single family homes will be identified within this interdisciplinary research project addressing general questions of demographic changes arising from global economical crises and climate change.

In this context, a first focus will be on Issues concerning traditional and new user groups for single family homes: Is there a change in the social structure of inhabitants in single family homes and what is the development of demands with respect to the living space? The economic aspect of demand and price development will also be dealt with in this project. While in some regions the fall in value is endangering retirement provisions, in other regions the prices for real estate are continuing to rise. Vacancies as well as extensive land sealing due to new buildings constitute a great challenge considering settlement structures: How will the need for natural resources for the single family house sector develop, what are the possibilities of energy-efficient construction and building refurbishment and to what extent are they utilized?

The findings from the analyses of user groups, the stock and settlement structures as well as market mechanisms and the use of resources will be taken into account when setting up development scenarios and action approaches. Here, the focus will be on the municipal action level. Finally, problem orientated approaches will be discussed together with the stakeholders and on conferences and workshops.

In the project Homes-uP the team of researchers from ISOE is going to analyse and typecast new user groups and look into the possibilities of energy-efficient building and refurbishment. Furthermore, the ISOE-team is participating in the development of scenarios and action approaches.

The focus on the German single family homes’ sector will be complemented by findings from other European and non-European countries like Great Britain, the Netherlands, Japan and the United States. This international comparison provides the basis for more profound investigations and cooperations beyond the project itself.


In Germany, single family homes constitute two thirds of all residential buildings. In 2011, more than half of all Europeans were living in such buildings and in Japan and the United States single family homes are also the most popular type of housing. However, the future of this real estate market segment is uncertain. Due to the demographic change, changing family constellations and user demands, economic and financial crises as well as climate change, people’s housing needs and financial means are changing accordingly. In the long run, these developments present a special challenge for the real estate market and particularly for the segment of single family homes.

Project partners

  • IÖR – Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development, Dresden (Project Leadership)
  • ifo Institute – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich
  • ILS Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development, Aachen
  • ZEW – Centre for European Economic Research, Mannheim

Cooperation partners

  • Saxion University of Applied Sciences, Centre for Urban and Environmental Development (Niederlande)
  • The University of Tokyo, School of Engineering, Department of Urban Engineering, Urban Land Use Planning Unit (Japan)
  • The Ohio State University, Knowlton School of Architecture, Architecture/Landscape Architecture, City and Regional Planning (USA)
  • University of Glasgow, Scottish Cities Knowledge Centre (Scotland)


The project „Homes-uP – Single Family Homes under Pressure?“ is being funded within the framework of the Leibniz competition 2015.


2015/01 – 2017/12