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Foreign buyers clamour for Berlin property

Published: 18 Dec 2012 06:56 GMT+01:00

Booming areas of the capital, such as Prenzlauer Berg, Kreuzberg and Mitte, have seen a dramatic rise in foreign buyers snapping up property. At property firm Accentro alone, one third of customers are now from overseas.

Almost all paid in cash said company head Jacopo Mingazzini. Some even bought without viewing a property, he added.

High-end property dealer Engel&Volkers also reported a rise in Greek and Italian clients, Tetzlaff-Immobilien said it had a lot of Spanish buyers and popular online house-finding site Immobilienscout24 also said it had found a notable increase in Greek business.

Foreign buyers were turning to Germany for several reasons, one of the main ones being that they wanted to put their money somewhere safe, away from the beleaguered economies of their home countries. The German capital's hip reputation was an added bonus.

“They are paying for safety and are often willing to accept high prices for it,” said Thomas Beyerle from property investment firm IVG. He added that Germany, alongside Switzerland, was “an international anchor.”

Rising rents were not even a deterrent for buyers, as increasing prices are being seen by investors as a sign that they would likely be able to sell off a property at a profit.

Plus, flats costing between €1,400 and €1,500 per square metre were still up for grabs in Berlin, “something that in other large metropolises is unthinkable,” said Mingazzini. He added that the city was “very affordable compared to other places in Europe and even within Germany.”

“People buying in Berlin are buying with the foresight of the value going up,” said Einar Skjerven from the Skjerven Group. In Munich or Hamburg, this was unlikely, he added.

And it was not just sought-after, sprawling loft apartments in trendier parts of the city that were in high demand from foreigners. Family homes in the former West Berlin were also popular.

DPA/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

08:41 December 18, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
'Rising rents were not even a deterrent for buyers,'

Of course they are not a deterrent for buyers. They are an incentive. Who wrote this garbage? Berlin is still cheap compared to other major cities. Even without industry like Munich or Stuttgart Berlin is a good investment due to Dr. Merkyl and Mr. Hyde spreading financial disease around the Eurozone. I just hope this does not eventually create a property bubble like the currency bubble experienced with the Swiss Franc.

Some parts of Berlin are cheap with good reason and it may be very dangerous to invest blindly in Berlin. I bought a flat in Charlottenburg a decade ago and whilst it is not the trendy Mitte or Prenzlauerberg I am more than happy I did. Prices cannot continue to rise for ever so I would invest in Berlin with caution.
10:45 December 18, 2012 by smart2012
all of this is driven by speculation....

nothing to do with normal taxpayers...

and the downside is that Berlin people struggle with too high rent (exactly the same in Munich, a rent of a shity flat in Shwabing is 1700 Euros per month. This is what i pay), and normal workers have to live in shity Perlach
16:32 December 18, 2012 by catjones
smart2012...like you, I take my personal situation and extrapolate it to the entire country.
19:35 December 18, 2012 by gorongoza
Who wouldn`t invest in housing in Germany if he/she has the money?

With people streaming in from East and South every available house will quickly find an occupant.

Watch out - it will not be too long before all that we earn go to pay rent, and nothing else.
19:45 December 18, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Now I have heard it all. Blame the foreigners on rising rent. Maybe blame Dr. Merkyl and Mr. Hyde hey gorgongoza.
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