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Start your bids now: 49-room central train station goes up for sale in Bavaria

Anyone browsing through property websites for northern Bavaria on Wednesday may have come across an unusual advert posted by Deutsche Bahn.

Start your bids now: 49-room central train station goes up for sale in Bavaria
Fürth central station. Wikimedia Commons/Magnus Gertkemper

The advert, published on ImmobilienScout24, offers a “protected railway building with its own courtyard in the heart of Fürth.”

Fürth is a town of 120,000 residents in northern Bavaria.

The property – Fürth's main railway station – was built in 1863 with the first train departing two years later. The building was extended in 1901 and 1914, the advert states.

But it’s not just a piece of history you’d be buying if you decide to do business with Deutsche Bahn. The rail company explains that future owners won’t have the right to use all of the property, as a section of the ground floor and an underpass will still be used by passengers who have trains to catch.

Nonetheless, the buyer can make use of a waiting room with “massive walls” and several stair cases.

The location also appears to be ideal, offering “good access to rail connections” to Nuremberg and Erlangen. The property also has a whopping 49 rooms and 549 square metres of living space.

But be warned: the advert notes that “there is a high level of backlog on renovation work.” And the courtyard also won’t be yours to use – rail passengers have to park their cars somewhere, after all.

The advertised sale price is also €0, suggesting potential buyers are in for a real deal. But the advertisement explains that the building will be sold to the highest bidder.

Still, who knows. With far too many buildings having been erected in the provinces in recent years, perhaps it could still be yours for a few euros.

Correction: This article previously stated Fürth has 12,000 residents. We meant to write 120,000.

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PROPERTY

Why house prices in Munich are starting to fall

The real estate market in the southern German state of Bavaria is changing due to the precarious economic situation, a new report has found.

Why house prices in Munich are starting to fall

What’s happening?

Germany’s largest state – Bavaria – is known for many positive things, such as stunning nature, culture and festivals. But it also has a reputation for being an expensive place to live. Many cities, especially Munich, are notorious for having some of the highest rental and property costs in the country. 

But it looks like the trend of rising house prices is beginning to dampen. 

According to the latest report by the Real Estate Association Germany South Region (IVD Süd e.V.), inflation and increased mortgage interest rates have put an end to the period of significant hikes in the Bavarian real estate market – at least for the time being. 

“The rapidly growing financing costs and the uncertainties associated with the impending recession in Germany as a result of the Ukraine war are inhibiting the dynamics of market activity and, in particular, the price dynamics in the residential real estate market,” said Professor Stephan Kippes, head of the IVD market research institute.

It reflects a general trend that we’ve been starting to see in Germany as the tough economic situation bites. 

According to a recent study by property search portal ImmoScout24, the number of people buying houses in Germany fell dramatically in the second quarter of 2022. And In many of the major metropoles, property prices also went down as people struggled to find interested buyers.

READ ALSO: How property prices are dropping in major German cities 

Where can we see this trend?

The price changes can be seen clearly in the state capital Munich, reported regional broadcaster BR24.

According to the study, the average property price, which was €9,500 per square metre in spring, has now dropped to €9,450. 

In some Bavarian cities, the trend reversal is not yet as noticeable. In Nuremberg, for example, property prices are still rising but at a slower rate than previously seen. The price of a property in spring was on average €3,630 per square metre, and is now €3,710, according to the study. 

Experts say it shows how the situation is developing. 

“The state capital of Munich, where the first price declines for residential real estate were identified in the fall of 2022 for the first time in a long time, could serve as a seismograph for future developments in Bavaria’s large and medium-sized cities,” said Kippes. 

Homes in Erfurt, Thuringia.

Homes in Erfurt, Thuringia. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Martin Schutt

Interest increases for buyers

At first glance, this development could seem tempting for those looking to buy property in Germany.

But Kippes points out that buyers are hardly benefitting from the decreasing prices – because interest rates have risen. 

“A few months ago, you could get an interest rate of 0.8 percent,” said Kippes. “If we take a purchase price of €500,000, let’s assume that €150,000 is equity and a €350,000 loan is needed; two percent repayment, 10 years fixed interest rate. Then, you would have paid €817, but today it would cost you €1,473.”

The IVD study said that the historically low-interest rate level of the past years in Germany “made it possible to compensate, at least partially, for the massive increases in purchase prices in many places”.

READ ALSO: The rules foreigners need to know when buying property in Germany 

“Now that the relief provided by low-interest rates has largely disappeared, but at the same time purchase prices have remained at dizzying heights, owner-occupiers in particular, who traditionally often finance with a high proportion of borrowed capital, are increasingly dropping out as buyers,” said the study. 

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