Is German property set to soar? On 13 June, Phoenix Spree Deutschland floats in the UK, giving armchair investors instant exposure to German real estate especially in Berlin.
German real estate has a slightly flat investment reputation. When the Wall fell, general optimism spilled over into property. A mini bubble grew, then got stuck. It was thought that corporations would move to Berlin. They didn’t. Decline set in.
Phoenix took flight when a group from UBS began investing in Berlin. Soon, others wanted to chip in. “We left UBS in 2006 and raised about €90m from high-net worth investors,” says Mike Hilton, fund manager at Phoenix.
Read more here – http://europe.newsweek.com/german-property-set-soar-fund-floats-london-327759
With estate agents waxing lyrical about the “smell of the sea, the scent of pines and panoramic views of nature” you could almost be forgiven for forgetting the sinister past of the luxury Baltic seaside apartments at New Prora, which were purpose built for 20,000 members of Adolf Hitler’s Aryan “master race”.
Comprising a single and monstrous five-storey concrete housing block stretching almost three miles along the sand dune and pine-studded coast of the east German island of Rügen, the former Prora holiday camp is one of the longest buildings in Europe. It was designed as the Nazis’ answer to Butlin’s.
Now, 76 years after it was built, the first full-time tenants are moving in to the so-called “Colossus of Rügen”. After decades of inaction and shame about its Nazi past, the complex is being gradually turned into luxury flats. Fifty-seven have been sold, the lowest priced costing €176,000 for a small three-room apartment.
The knowledge that the site of his flat was meant to provide “quality time” for the German masses under the Nazi “Strength Through Joy” recreation programme did not seem to worry its new owner Roland Glöckner.
“It may sound peculiar, but it was love at first sight,” said the 51-year-old Berlin advertising executive after moving in to his 60sq metre flat.
(Read more – http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/colossal-nazi-holiday-camp-converted-to-luxury-seaside-apartments-31226643.html)
Every city has a personality, but few European cities are as unique and iconic as Berlin.
The German capital is the perfect mix of regal architecture and rough urban streetscapes, beautiful laneways and grungy concrete, vintage shops and cutting-edge modern spaces.
Berlin is wonderfully rich in history and culture, and its coffee scene reflects this richness.
On a pretty street corner in the fashionable district of Mitte, Oliv has a warm, welcoming feel and some of the best coffee in town.
Their homemade teas are also wondrous: order a mint tea and you’ll receive a sprig of fresh, leafy peppermint in a tall glass. Plus their food is wholesome and simple; think autumnal vegetable salad and crispy hot croissants.
Berlin’s modern cafe scene is booming and Godshot is one of the main forerunners. The space is sleek, the baristas are experts and the beans are perfect. An ideal spot to recharge one afternoon.
Plus names don’t get any cooler than this; perhaps we should start calling espresso shots “godshots” from now on…………
Internet startups, international musicians and artists have made Berlin their home base for more than a decade.
This “creative class” – key to a lively world city, urban studies experts say – has lifted the German capital to its feet.
“Berlin used to be a relatively poor city,” said Sebastian Fischer, managing director of real estate agents Engel & Volkers. But with reports that five Internet startups are founded here daily, and a GDP that has grown consistently since 2008, the capital is looking less shabby and more chic.
Now, luxurious apartment buildings are rising near the route of the demolished Berlin Wall. Chunks of central Berlin still remain vacant. But within the bounds of strict rules designed to keep property speculation at bay, healthy rejuvenation is taking root. (keep reading here)
Bold buildings are sprouting in areas that have remained barren since World War II
On a dusty parking lot in central Berlin, where U.S. bombs leveled homes and offices in 1945, Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas is planning a beehive-like digital media center for publisher Axel Springer. A 15-minute bike ride away, on the former site of an iron foundry, architect Daniel Libeskind is completing a titanium-wrapped apartment building crowned with a soaring penthouse. Across the Humboldthafen canal, a new neighborhood with a tree-lined boulevard flanked by shops, homes, and offices is rising where rail-switching yards stood before they were wiped out during World War II. (continue reading)