New Berlin Flickr group

We’ve started a flickr group about Berlin. It’s such a culturally diverse and interesting city we thought it woud be good to share some of our pictures. Please do join us and submit your own.

Berlin is perhaps one of the most fascinating cities in Germany. Covering nearly 341 square miles of Berlin you will find it has a unique landscape. With its many parks, lakes and wooded areas, it is sometimes easy to forget that Berlin is the capital of Germany. The history of this city has been celebrated for many years attracting tourists from all over the world. It is estimated that nearly 80% of Berlin was destroyed during the Second World War. Perhaps one of Berlin ‘s most famous landmarks is the Berlin Wall, the ‘Iron Curtain ‘which divided this great city into two halves between 1961 and 1989. The East was governed by communism while the West was allowed to develop in a capitalist democratic government. Even now, more than a decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the differences between East and West are still visible.

City of Berlin to tax hotel visitors in 2013

Europe’s third most visited capital after London and Paris, Berlin draws foreigners and Germans alike to take in the city’s rich and troubled history amidst a thriving cafe culture. Some 20 million nights were spent in hotel rooms last year alone.

Nov 18 (Reuters Life!) – Tourists visiting Berlin will see the price of their hotel stays rise by five percent in January 2013, when the indebted city implements a new tax on hotels to help balance its budget.

“We want Berlin to get richer and stay sexy,” said Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit this week, playing on his known slogan Berlin is “poor but sexy.” City officials say they hope to rake in at least 20 million euros ($27 mln) with the new tax. (more)

German Property Market Stays Hot

IVG Immobilien AG’s €400 million ($551.1 million) purchase of the Silberturm office tower and an adjacent building in Frankfurt’s banking district last week is the latest in a wave of high-profile real-estate deals in Germany’s biggest cities.

And while investment in European commercial property is expected to slow in the fourth quarter amid economic uncertainty and tight lending, industry experts say buyers will continue pumping cash into German real estate in the fourth quarter and 2012.

Market observers say German cities such as Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Berlin are less affected by economic concerns and speculation about the fate of the euro zone than other markets across Europe.(more)

Office properties in German potential cities belong in any portfolio

In many German Class A cities such as Frankfurt am Main, Düsseldorf or Berlin, the enormous demand for real estate is already making it hard to find suitable properties at reasonable prices. Investors from inside and outside Germany are therefore increasingly looking at so-called high-potential locations.

Commissioned by Corpus Sireo, a recent empirica survey analysed the office markets of 14 major German cities that qualified for the “high potential” category, these being Bremen, Hanover, Münster, Essen, Dortmund, Bonn, Aachen, Wiesbaden, Mainz, Mannheim, Karlsruhe, Nuremberg, Leipzig, and Dresden. The survey is based on the evaluation of 550,000 real estate ads (online portals and dailies) from the years 2008 through 2011, as well as on the empirica employment forecast. The survey compares these major German cities with the traditional Class A locations Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, and Frankfurt am Main. (more)