Tour Total – The first completed building at Europacity in Berlin

The future German headquarters of the Total oil company, the Tour Total in Berlin, was officially completed in time and budget by the CA Immo real estate company and handed over to the tenant. The building opposite the main railway station is the first in a series of construction projects by CA Immo and other investors in the new Europacity urban quarter.

Built as a green building, the Tour Total consists of 16 office floors with a gross floor area of approximately 18,000 sq m (193,750 sq ft). The building has more than 90 spaces for bicycles and 240 parking spaces for cars. Thanks to the proximity of the main railway station, it is ideally connected to the public transport. Total Deutschland GmbH will ultimately concentrate the German business of the energy company on 12 floors with 500 employees. Four floors will be leased to other companies. For the construction management CA Immo appointed omniCon, their specialized construction management subsidiary. The Berlin office of Barkow Leibinger was responsible for the architecture.

CA Immo in Berlin
CA Immo has a presence in Berlin with total property assets with a market value of about € 542 m. Just under half of this is accounted for by property assets under development. After the completion of the Tour Total, CA Immo currently has another two development projects under construction in Berlin with a total investment volume of € 125 m: The new headquarter of Mercedes Benz Sales at Berlin-Friedrichshain and the Intercity Hotel at Berlins´ central railway station. Furthermore, CA Immo owns investment properties (212,000 s qm lettable area), among them the Königliche Direktion at the Schöneberger Ufer and the Hamburger Bahnhof. (more)

Berlin’s housing bubble and the backlash against hipster tourists

Skyrocketing housing costs in Berlin can’t be blamed on an influx of ‘foreigners’, but are in fact fuelled by the global financial crisis.

I recently moved back to Berlin after four years in London, and it seems half of London had the same idea. When I walk down the familiar streets of my old neighbourhood, where the most exotic sight used to be the local kebab shop, I now hear posh kids from the home counties discuss their nightly exploits and see stylish Swedes sipping espressos. It all suddenly feels like Dalston.

I was lucky enough to be able to move back into my old flat in Neukölln, one of Berlin’s poorest districts with high crime rates and crumbling infrastructure, but ridiculously cheap rents. The money I used to pay for my room in north-east London would easily get you a decent two-bedroom flat here. Or, rather, it used to: rents here are suddenly skyrocketing. According to a recent article in Die Zeit, they rose over 23% between 2007 and 2010, the biggest increase over the whole city. Many locals are blaming “the foreigners”, the tourists and bohemians from Britain, Spain or Scandinavia, for this sudden rent hike. Last year, Der Spiegel reported on a backlash against the growing international community in the district, spearheaded by one of the local bar-owners whose video manifesto against “the fucking students, artists and layabouts” went viral. (more)

The Cause of the Latest German Economic Miracle

The New York Times has a nice piece on the differences between the French and German economies. They’ve framed it by looking at two small towns, one just on each side of the common border.

It’s worth reading in full but I just wanted to emphasise this particular point:

French salaries have increased in real terms while German salaries have fallen, making French workers more expensive and thus less productive and competitive.

It is that and that alone which is the cause of the latest German economic miracle. As the rest of Europe flounders in economic chaos (admittedly, more chaotic the further south you go) it is this screwing down of wages which has led to the relative success. (more)

German market set for international investor surge says EC Harris

Germany’s property market should brace itself for a surge in international investment according to a new study.

 Global build-asset consultancy EC Harris’ “German Real Estate Market Trends: The Investor Perspective” report found that 70% of investors were planning to increase their level of investment this year.

safe german property investment

 59% of investors were also confident that Germany would remain Europe’s most stable economy over the next few years.

The report, which compiled data from several focus interviews with national and international investors, also found a preference for projects in Frankfurt and Munich, with 65% of respondents showing a willingness to invest in the cities. (more)

Germany economy to return to growth path in the spring

The FINANCIAL — After a weak winter half-year, the German economy will already be back to a solid growth path in the spring. Although GDP growth in the final quarter of 2011 was negative with -0.2% for the first time in two years, already in the first quarter of 2012 GDP will return to – an initially slight – growth of 0.2%

According to KfW, there after GDP will enter a stronger upwards trend: KfW expects economic growth of 1.2% for the overall year 2012. In its first forecast for 2013 it expects an increase in growth of 1.9%.(more)

Now There’s A Housing Bubble In Germany

Germans are practically euphoric these days—compared to the dour mood that prevailed for nearly two decades following reunification, when real wages declined in a stagnating economy beset with what appeared to be permanently high unemployment.

While discontent smolders in other Eurozone countries, 88% of Germans are satisfied with their standard of living (Gallup). And 85%—a record since the beginning of the surveys—believe that they can get ahead if they work hard, up from 71% in 2007.

German resi deals boom as Euro-zone struggles

CBRE Germany reported this week that transaction volumes in “German residential property portfolios of more than 50 units increased by 44 per cent year-on-year to €6.12 billion (USD $8 billion) in 2011.”

 “The number of traded residential units also increased by 27 per cent to around 92,000 units within 194 transactions, indicating that the market for large portfolios of over 1,000 units has regained momentum,” the global agency told OPP this week.

safe german investment

Where were the hotspots? “The demand for residential units in Berlin was particularly strong,” says CBRE Germany. “The federal capital traded around €2.3 billion and more than 32,300 residential units last year, which accounts for 37 per cent of the registered investment volumes and 37 per cent of all residential units in Germany. As a result of the large transaction volumes and high-end development projects in Berlin, the average price per sq m increased to €1,033.” (more)


Germans’ Economic Positivity Holds in Eurozone Crisis

BRUSSELS — Germans’ attitudes about their standard of living have remained relatively buoyant throughout the recent eurozone crisis. In 2011, 31% of Germans said their standard of living was getting better — even higher than before the global financial crisis hit in 2008. Germans’ satisfaction with their standard of living has remained remarkably stable in recent years, at 88%.

Germans' satisfaction with living standards top pre-crisis levels

Gallup surveys also show Germans’ economic outlook has improved markedly in recent years. In 2011, 47% of German residents said their local economic conditions were getting better, up from 34% in 2010. The increase in optimism regarding the job situation was even more pronounced. The proportion of Germans who said that it was good time to find a job in the city or area where they lived jumped to 50% in 2011 from 22% in 2010.

These positive developments were accompanied by Germans’ growing belief that they can get ahead if they work hard. More Germans said they can get ahead in life by working hard in 2011 and 2010 than in years prior. (more)


German Residential Investment Soaring High

Transactions involving the purchase of 50 or more residential units increased by 44% year on year in Germany last year, with 6.12 billion Euros transacted over the course of the year according to new data from CB Richard Ellis. Further, the number of units transacted also increased, with 92,000 units transacted across 194 transactions representing a 27% increase over 2010. This indicates an increase in appetite for portfolios of over 1000 units according to CBRE.

According to the data Berlin saw particularly strong residential demand. Apparently some 32,300 residential units were traded to a value of 2.3 billion Euros. This figure means that investment volumes in the federal capital were 37% of recorded investment volumes for Germany as a whole and also that the number of units sold represents 37% of residential units sold across Germany in 2011. This massive level of activity led to a surge in high end development projects in the city, and also triggered a rise in the per sqm price, which went up to 1,033 Euros. (more)

safe german investment

German Manufacturing Orders Rise

FRANKFURT—German manufacturing orders rose more than expected in December, driven by a surge in demand from outside the euro zone, in the latest sign that Europe’s largest economy may yet avoid recession despite the euro zone’s debt crisis.

New orders rose 1.7% on the month in adjusted terms, after slumping by a downwardly revised 4.9% in November, data from the economics ministry showed Monday. Experts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had expected an increase of 1% in December.

While German orders data are “very volatile”, the latest figures “seem to suggest that factory activity has not collapsed,” even after German economic growth moderated in the fourth quarter “as demand from abroad was hit by the global slowdown,” said Annalisa Piazza, a strategist at Newedge in London. “If anything, a slight pick-up is expected in the first quarter of 2012,” she said.(more)