The survey by the F+B real estate research group, released Thursday, also shows that, after remaining steady for years, property began to rise in price last year.
F+B analysed price movements for apartments, town houses and both detached and semi-detached houses, combined with new and existing rental prices, to create an index that “allows analysis of the whole residential market,” Julian Wartenberg of F+B told news magazine Der Spiegel.
The national average was set at 100 points. The financial capital Frankfurt, for example, lies at 156.6. Munich city lies at 213.8 and most of its surrounding also is over 200 points. Capital Berlin is exactly 100, Hamburg 145.1, Stuttgart 158.4, Cologne 134.5, Mainz 145.3, Nuremberg 124.1 and Hannover 92.5.
The eight most expensive rural and urban municipalities were all in Bavaria. Overall, the south was considerably more expensive than the rest of the country. However, Hamburg also emerged as a costly place to live, ranking 22nd on the list of most expensive regions.
Eastern parts of the country remain the cheapest. Residents of the Saxony town of Görlitz pay on average four times less than those in Munich.
There are also large variations within cities themselves – for instance Berliners living in fashionable Prenzlauer Berg pay much more than those in rather less fashionable Marzahn.
F+B did not put the comparison into euro figures because there is too much variation between different types of housing. But they did calculate that the national average price per square metre on new rental agreements for 75 square metre-apartments rose between 2004 and 2010 from €6 to €6.30. Over the same period, the sale price per square metre for detached houses actually fell from €1,670 to €1,640.
Taken across all types of housing, prices across Germany remained roughly stable between 2004 and 2009, but then rose nearly 3 percent in 2010.
“From a macroeconomic point of view, this is certainly due to the fact that in recent quarters the economy, measured in the rise in GDP, has grown strongly and at the same time the mortgage interest rates have sunk – a very conducive combination for the demand for property,” Wartenberg said.