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)

German housing booms as 2011 investment figures pass last year’s already

The German residential market is booming and investment volumes in the first six months of 2011 equalled the total amount spent in the full 12 months of 2010.

The purchase price of freehold flats in particular rose substantially in the first half of 2010. In a year-on-year comparison, purchase prices in Munich and Hamburg grew by more than 10 %.

“Increases were also registered in Berlin, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf of more than 5 %,” the German agency Patrizia Immobilien told OPP this week.

“Price increases in Stuttgart and Cologne, however, appear to have stopped for the time being, with the development of prices still remaining under the inflation rate,” the company added.

Leipzig comes out as Germany’s cheapest city on the home front and, says Patrizia, “it is the only city of the eight reviewed that recorded a slight drop in purchase prices in a year-on-year comparison.”

Mood among investors remains buoyant in Germany

Interest in German commercial real estate remains high among both German and international investors. “Total transaction volume up to the end of the third quarter came to just under 16.8 billion euros, more than 27 percent above the previous year’s result,” says Andreas Trumpp, Head of Research at Colliers International in Germany. “The quarterly results have been very balanced thus far, fluctuating between 5.4 and 5.7 billion euros,” he adds. About 31% of the transaction volume registered between January and September (€ 5.2 billion) came from portfolio sales. International investors invested some €6.6 billion in Germany during this period, making them responsible for about 40% of the investment volume. Approximately €7.0 billion, or about 42% of the transaction volume, was registered in the country’s six top locations: Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, and Stuttgart.(more)

Germany gains buyers’ trust

Germany is earning property buyers’ trust, this month’s Top of the Props report from suggests. Germany has entered the top ten most popular property destinations for the first time ever, as the country offers a reassuringly stable market for investors. Germany jumped four places in the overseas property portal’s rankings to take the tenth spot, joining the familiar faces of Spain, France, Portugal and the USA.

Germany accounted for 2.19 per cent of all enquiries received by in September, replacing the small island of Cape Verde, which dropped 12 places after its surprise entry into the top ten last month. Unlike the short-term surge of interest in Cape Verde’s smaller economy, the popularity of German property has been growing for some time.

An established member of the Eurozone, Germany has been consistently drawing more enquiries from investors for three months in a row, rising seven places in’s chart since July. (more)

Berlin, Europe’s most desirable city for tourism and air transport

BERLIN (eTN) – In a European continent stroked by gloomy economic perspectives, Berlin seems to be an oasis of optimism fueled by economic growth. Tourism is especially booming in the German capital. At the World Routes conference, an event hosted earlier this week in Berlin where airports and airlines meet together, Visit Berlin Tourism CEO Burkhard Kieker highlighted the fact that the German capital is now Europe’s third most-visited city with over 20 million tourists a year. “This is even more incredible when we think back to the position we had two decades ago. We took over last year Rome and are just behind London and Paris now,” he explained.

Signs of Berlin’s vitality are not only to be observed in the number of tourists strolling in the city center but also in the number of construction projects which are to be seen all over the capital. Among the most impressive ones is an €800 million large project in the City West. Previously the heart of West Berlin, the area which stretches between the famous Kurfürstendamm boulevard, the train station “Zoologischer Garten” and the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, has been neglected over the last two decades as investors mostly turned their eye to the Eastern side of the reunified capital. (more)

Venture Capitalists Shift Focus to Berlin

Earlybird Venture Capital is shifting the focus of its operation to Berlin, the company said.

The company only announced its Berlin office in March, but Ciaran O’Leary, who despite his name is actually German, said the company would be moving here before the year’s end. “As soon as we realized that things are changing, we said we are moving 80% of our staff to Berlin,” he said. “Not in the next two-three years, but in the next two-three months.”

The move is a bold statement by the 14-year-old venture capital firm, which operates from offices in Hamburg and Munich. According to Jason D. Whitmire, general partner at Earlybird, there would be “consolidation” elsewhere.

“People are late, but I bet that before the year is out, there will be one or two other top VCs here,” said Mr. O’Leary.(more)

Germany wakes up to the fry-up as British cuisine takes off in Berlin

“My friends think I am a total freak,” said Christina Franz, as she washed down her full English with a mug of milky tea on Tuesday. “They cannot understand why I like British food so much – Sunday roasts, scones and clotted cream, cooked breakfasts of course.” Even white sliced bread, she added cheerfully, to the visible disgust of her boyfriend, Kai.

The 33-year-old German was delighted when she heard that a cafe serving British cuisine had opened up in Berlin in May. She had been suffering withdrawal symptoms following a two-year spell in the UK when East London – subtitled God Save Brit Food – started serving scotch eggs, bacon and egg butties and steak and ale pies in the trendy Kreuzberg district. (more)

Bundesbank Sees Strong GDP Growth In Q3

(RTTNews) – Germany’s central bank forecasts robust economic expansion in the third quarter. However, the medium-term outlook worsened more than originally estimated due to heightened uncertainty, Bundesbank said in its monthly report on Monday.

Private consumption should increase noticeably in the current quarter after a significant fall in the previous quarter, the bank added. It expects strong retail sales as well as improvement in car sales to underpin the third quarter growth.

The economy expanded merely by 0.1 percent in the second quarter. The German Institute for Economic Research, or DIW, projects the largest Eurozone economy to grow 0.4 percent in the third quarter.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told the Bundestag this month that the German economy is likely to expand around 3 percent in 2011.


Travel: Five-star Berlin

For years, backpackers and pleasure-seekers have been flocking to Berlin for its industrial music, underground art scene and generally edgy vibe. But assume that Berlin is all warehouse raves and graffiti art, and you will miss its best bits. After all, Berlin already had one luxurious heyday in the 1920s: a time when jazz greats came to see and be seen in smoky velvet lounges, when hotels housed a cast of international characters and crystal-chandeliered theaters invented a saucier form of cabaret. Berlin was the Roaring Twenties. (more)

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)