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8 Changes in Accounting Policies, Estimates, Assumptions, Options and Judgments

Changes to Key Accounting Methods

As of January 1, 2023, the Group did not have to apply any interest rate benchmark reform.

Approach to the Interest Rate Benchmark Reform and Associated Risks

General Information

A fundamental reform of the main interest rate benchmarks is under way across the globe, including the replacement of some “Interbank Offered Rates” (IBORs) with alternative, almost risk-free interest rates (referred to as the “IBOR reform”).

Group financial instruments are exposed to IBORs that are not being replaced or reformed as part of these market-wide initiatives. The biggest risk for the Group in connection with the IBOR as of December 31, 2023, was the link to the EURIBOR and STIBOR. As these are expected to remain valid until at least 2025, no changes had to be made to the financial instruments in the period leading up to December 31, 2023, meaning that no new interest rate benchmarks have to be reflected here.

The LIBOR administrator regulated and licensed by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the ICE Benchmark Administration (IBA), ceased publication of the USD LIBOR at the end of June 2023. The Group does not hold any financial instruments that are subject to the USD LIBOR.

The IBOR risks to which the Group was exposed as of December 31, 2023, largely relate to corporate bonds and loans linked to the EURIBOR/STIBOR. As explained above, the Group has not had to make any changes to the contractual terms for risks resulting from a link to the EURIBOR/STIBOR.

The EURIBOR calculation method changed in the course of 2019.

In July 2019, the Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority approved the EURIBOR in accordance with the European Union Benchmarks Regulation. This allows market participants to keep using the EURIBOR for both existing and new contracts for the time being. Vonovia is keeping an eye on current developments related to the introduction of a potential EURIBOR successor, the ESTR-based EFTERM.


The Group holds interest rate swaps and other derivatives designated in hedging relationships to hedge cash flows for risk management purposes. The variable amounts of the interest rate swaps are linked to EURIBOR/STIBOR.

Hedge Accounting

The Group’s hedged items and hedging instruments are linked to the EURIBOR as of the reporting date. These reference rates are quoted daily and the IBOR cash flows are exchanged with the counterparties as usual.

Changes in Accounting Policies Due to New Standards and Interpretations

The following new or amended standards and interpretations became mandatory for the first time in the 2023 fiscal year. With the exception of the adjustments explained below related to IAS 12, this did not have any material effects on Vonovia’s consolidated financial statements.

IAS 12/International Tax Reform Pillar 2

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has launched a project, BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting), to combat unfair tax competition at international level and tax loopholes, particularly in light of our digitalized economy. A two-pillar solution was developed as part of this international tax reform, with the second pillar (Pillar 2) addressing global effective minimum taxation, in particular.

The implementation status of the Pillar 2 tax regulations in terms of their transposition into national law varies considerably from country to country. The IASB published amendments to IAS 12 in May 2023 in order to avoid inconsistent accounting during this transition phase, as well as to provide users of financial statements with information that would be as useful as possible for their decisions regarding the expected impact of the tax reform. These were adopted by the EU in November 2023 and already apply for the 2023 reporting year.

In addition to a mandatory exception from the recognition of deferred taxes in connection with the Pillar 2 rules, the amendments include, in particular, extended disclosures in the notes. While the exception is designed explicitly as a temporary one, the IASB has not yet set any expiration date.

Vonovia is applying the extended regulations set out in IAS 12 as planned as of the 2023 fiscal year. The impact on the Group and the required disclosures in the notes are set out in note [B22] Income Taxes.

New Standards and Interpretations Not Yet Applied

Application of the following standards, interpretations and amendments to existing standards was not yet mandatory for the 2023 fiscal year. Vonovia also did not choose to apply them in advance. It is expected that the application of the new or amended standards and interpretations will have no material effects on Vonovia’s consolidated financial statements. Their application will be mandatory for the fiscal years following the dates stated in the following table:

Overview New Standards and Amendments to Existing Standards

Relevant New Standards, Interpretations and Amendments to Existing Standards and Interpretations

Effective date for Vonovia

Amendments to Standards



Jan. 1, 2024


“Presentation of Financial Statements”

Jan. 1, 2024


“Statement of Cash Flows”

Jan. 1, 2024*

IAS 21

“The Effects of Changes in Foreign Exchange Rates”

Jan. 1, 2025*

  1. * Not yet endorsed.

Estimates and Assumptions

To a certain extent, the preparation of the consolidated financial statements requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities as of the reporting date as well as reported amounts of income and expenses during the reporting year. The actual amounts may differ from the estimates as the business environment may develop differently than assumed. In this case, the assumptions and, where necessary, the carrying amounts of the assets or liabilities affected are prospectively adjusted accordingly. Specific estimates and assumptions relating to individual elements of financial statements are also explained in the corresponding notes to the consolidated financial statements.

Assumptions and estimates are reviewed on an ongoing basis and are based on experience and other factors, including expectations regarding future events that appear reasonable under the given circumstances.

The estimates and assumptions that may have a material risk of causing an adjustment to the carrying amounts of assets and liabilities mainly relate to the determination of the fair value of investment properties.

The best evidence of fair value of investment properties is current prices in an active market for comparable residential properties. As such information is not completely available, however, Vonovia uses standard valuation techniques.

A detailed description of the discounted cash flow (DCF) method used can be found in chapter [D28] Investment Properties.

In accordance with IAS 40 in conjunction with IFRS 13, the respective market values of the investment properties owned by Vonovia are determined. Changes in certain market conditions such as prevailing rent levels and vacancy rates may affect the valuation of investment properties. Any changes in the fair value of the investment portfolio are recognized as part of the profit for the period in the income statement and can thus substantially affect Vonovia’s results of operations.

The statement of financial liabilities at amortized cost using the effective interest method takes the expected contractual cash flows into account. In some cases, the agreements do not have any fixed maturity terms. As a result, the cash flows included in the valuation are subject to management assumptions in terms of amount and term.

As explained in chapter [D26] Intangible Assets, Vonovia checks for goodwill impairments on an annual basis, or if there is any reason to suspect such impairments. The next step involves determining the recoverable amount of the group of cash-generating units (CGU). This corresponds to either the fair value less costs of sale or the value in use, whichever is higher. Determining the value in use includes adjustments and estimates regarding the forecast and discounting of the future cash flow. Although the management believes that the assumptions used to determine the recoverable amount are appropriate, any unforeseeable changes in these assumptions could result in impairment losses, with a detrimental impact on the net assets, financial position and results of operations.

When determining the volume of current and deferred taxes, the Group takes into account the effects of uncertain tax items and whether additional taxes and interest may be due. This assessment is made on the basis of estimates and assumptions about future events. New information may become available that causes the Group to change its discretionary decisions regarding the appropriateness of existing tax liabilities; such changes to tax liabilities will affect the tax expense in the period in which such a change is made.

Deferred tax assets are recognized to the extent that it can be demonstrated that it is probable that future taxable profits will be available against which the temporary difference can be utilized. Deferred tax assets are reviewed at each reporting date and are reduced to the extent that it is no longer probable that there will be sufficient future taxable profits to realize the tax benefit in the future.

In connection with the application of IFRS 15, it is assumed with respect to determining progress in relation to revenue recognition over time that the costs incurred appropriately reflect the progress as a share of total costs.

Additional estimates and assumptions mainly relate to the uniform definition of useful lives, the assumptions made on the value of land and buildings, the recognition and measurement of provisions as well as the realization of future tax benefits.

Climate risks have an impact on Vonovia’s business model and strategy. They are addressed in particular by the climate path that the company has mapped out, but also by appropriate estimates and assumptions in key items of the company’s net assets, financial position and results of operations. Climate risks can have a potentially negative impact and result in increased estimation uncertainties.

Physical climate risks refer to longer-term shifts in general climatic conditions. Climate events such as floods, earthquakes, extreme weather events, etc.  could have an impact on our real estate portfolio and require specific crisis management measures. Climate transition risks describe the effects that can arise for companies due to the process of transformation towards a more sustainable economic system.

As part of its sustainability strategy, Vonovia has made a commitment to climate protection targets and a virtually carbon-neutral housing stock by 2045. Based on our current knowledge and expectations regarding future developments, this will not have any impact on Vonovia’s balance sheet. This relates,  among other things, to the fair values of investment properties, specific useful lives and the value of assets, as well as provisions for environmental risks, for which no significant need for adjustment emerges.

Options and Judgments

Options exercised and judgments made by Vonovia’s management in the process of applying the entity’s accounting policies that may have a significant effect on the amounts recognized in the consolidated financial statements include the following: