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North Sea island is jewel in German house market

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Photo: DPA
15:24 CEST+02:00
The most expensive property in Germany is not in one of the bustling big cities, but on the windy North Sea island of Sylt, where houses can cost up to €35,000 per square metre, a high-end estate agent revealed on Wednesday.

Sylt, the largest of Germany's North Sea islands, is famed for its sandy beach and has been a go-to destination for the upper classes for decades. Nestled into the island's dunes are the country's most expensive houses, some setting a buyer back several million euros.

According to Engel&Völkers, a luxury property agency, snaring one of the sought-after, thatched roof cottages that dot the island is no mean feat – requiring piles of cash and a stroke of luck.

Prices remain high on the island as there simply are not enough houses to go around and those who have one, tend to hang onto it.

Company analysts examined market trends for 2010 and 2011, to see where Germans were paying the most money for a swanky house. For their purposes, a property was deemed “luxury” if cost more than three times of the average price in the area. This also had to be over €5,000 per square metre.

“The top prices quoted are not representative of the market in general, nor do they reflect price trends for residential property in other locations,” head of residential property Kai Enders said in a statement.

The same analysts also found that luxury property prices had clearly increased over the past few years, both in Germany and in popular holiday destinations such as Italy and southern France. At the very top end, the price-tags on some properties had even increased by 60 percent.

In Berlin, price per square metre may be less than in the country's fancier provinces but for a city hailed for its cheap living, some buyers with deeper pockets than most are starting to cough up €15,000 per square metre for a new-build flat in the city centre.

This is around three times more than it was just a few years ago, when paying €5,000 per square metre would have been considered extravagant.

Other sought-after locations such as on the banks of Alster Lake in Hamburg and the environs of the English Garden park in Munich, are experiencing a similar price boom, as are several popular holiday spots.

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“We are anticipating that prices in the best locations detailed in our survey will continue to rise,” said Enders. He added that there was still, “a great deal of upward scope if one considers top locations abroad.”

The Local/jcw

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