German economy seen picking up speed

FRANKFURT (MarketWatch)-Germany’s economy is seen growing at a stronger pace in the third quarter, after the second quarter’s disappointing numbers, the German Institute for Economic Research, or DIW, said Wednesday.

The Berlin-based group said it sees growth at 0.4% in the third quarter, after the second quarter’s sluggish 0.1% quarterly pace.

The trend in industry is still positive, DIW economist Ferdinand Fichtner said in a press release, but “the time of rapid rebound is, however, over.”

Nevertheless, the German economy should exhibit decent growth in the second half of the year, Fichtner added.(more)


Pramerica forms € 120 million joint venture

Pramerica Real Estate Investors has formed a new joint venture company with Hagen Kahmann and Julian Brown, the founders and principals of Kauri CAB Management GmbH, to invest in residential apartment blocks in Berlin, the company announced today. The new Luxembourg based JV, Preco Kauri CAB S.a.r.l, has a total investment capacity of around € 120 million, which will be used to acquire and refurbish residential flats in Berlin. Pramerica is the European real estate arm of the real estate investment and management business of Prudential Financial, Inc., which is headquartered in the United States. (more)

German Example Shows Way Out of Debt Crisis

Almost all the industrialized economies are struggling under the weight of enormous debt levels. The problem is their government revenues are too low. Debt-ridden countries like the United States, Ireland and Japan need to raise their taxes to a similar level to Germany.

A Commentary by Peter Bofinger

The global economic and financial crisis has led to a dramatic increase in government debt in recent years. Within the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), member countries’ average debt ratio — i.e., public debt relative to economic output — increased significantly from 72 percent in 2007 to more than 100 percent in 2011. And there’s no turnaround in sight for 2012. In hindsight, there is no doubt that the states were correct to increase their debt. Without an expansionary fiscal policy and the extensive support programs for the banking system, the global economy would have plunged into a 1930s-style Great Depression during the past few years. (more)

Strong investor demand for homes in Berlin

Close to 17,500 homes were sold in Germany as part of residential portfolio transactions during the second quarter (Q2) of 2011, marking a marginal rise on the 17,100 residential units sold in Q1, according to research by international property advisor Savills.

The company found that almost every third residential unit sold in the country was located in Berlin, where property investment returns looks attractive.

Karsten Nemecek, managing director corporate finance – valuation at Savills Germany, says: “The Berlin market still offers good value for money in comparison to Germany ’s other major cities so many investors are taking advantage of its attractive investment opportunities.  Berlin offers suitable products for both risk-averse and opportunistic investors.” (more)


Entrepreneurs are increasingly choosing Berlin as a launching pad for internet start-ups

While none of Germany’s top 30 companies are based in the city, its low costs and highly qualified labor pool have laid the groundwork for what many hope could develop into Europe’s technology hub.

“Berlin is currently the hottest city in the European startup scene,” Matthias Schrader, chief executive of SinnerSchrader one of Europe’s biggest digital media agencies and chairman of the annual “Next” conference, told Reuters.

“Berlin has the perfect mix of creative potential, technical talent, low living costs and cosmopolitan flair — a combination that exists nowhere else,” he added.

A government report in June showed that Berlin is Germany’s top location for innovative start-ups in the information and communication technology (ICT) field, beating the much wealthier cities Munich, Stuttgart and Hamburg. (more)


Germany has massive potential for more home ownership

Germany has massive potential for increased levels of first and second home ownership say two new reports out this week from international property group PATRIZIA Immobilien AG and global agency Savills. Both focus on the investment sector as the way ahead.

 With a national average home ownership rate of 43%, Germany “takes the second-to-last place in Europe,” says PATRIZIA.

 However, as Dr. Marcus Cieleback, Head of Research with PATRIZIA Immobilien AG told OPP this week, “if we analyse the home-ownership rate state by state, we can see clearly that there are substantial differences in ownership rates across Germany. These vary from just over 14% in Berlin to almost 55% in Saarland.” (more)