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PROPERTY

Revealed: Where you’ll find Germany’s most expensive apartments

If you have a few million to spare - or you're just curious - here are the places you'll find Germany's luxury homes.

Recently built luxury apartments in Berlin
Recently built luxury apartments in Berlin. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Bernd von Jutrczenka

Germans are not well known for buying properties, with around half of the population preferring to rent long-term.

But many people do decide to buy their own home – and for the richest few (and the dreamers), there are plenty of luxury options. 

This year, the most expensive flat in Germany was found in the northern city of Hamburg, according to a study by real estate portal Immowelt.

The penthouse in Hamburg’s Uhlenhorst district topped their 2021 ranking of luxury flats. It was put on the market at an eye-watering price of €8.9 million. Located on the Hanseatic city’s Außenalster, the penthouse has six rooms and 430 square metres of living space.

In second place on the list was a 275-square-metre flat in Frankfurt’s new Grand Tower high rise, which cost €8.4 million. The price per square metre was even higher here than for the luxury property in Hamburg due to the significantly smaller living space.

READ ALSO: The reasons why so many Germans rent rather than buy

Expensive flats are also on offer in the capital – Berlin was represented in the top 10 with two properties.

A not-too-shabby seven-bedroom flat in Dahlem was available for €6 million (8th place). And if you had a spare €6.3 million going, you would have been able to pick up a flat in Berlin’s much sought-after Prenzlauer Berg district with 10 rooms, a wine cellar and accompanying garden (it was in 7th place on the list). 

Not surprisingly, Munich featured most on the list, with six of the 10 priciest apartments in Germany found here, as shown in the list by Immowelt of the 10 most expensive apartments.

Screenshot: immowelt.de

The most expensive flat in Munich was offered in the Maxvorstadt district for €7.3 million (3rd place). It was a terrace flat at the Old Botanical Garden with six rooms and a ‘wellness’ area. We wouldn’t turn it down.

What about houses?

The Bavarian capital also appeared three times in the ranking for the 10 most expensive houses in Germany.

With a €14.4 million price tag, the most expensive property in Germany was found in the luxury district of Munich’s Bogenhausen.

The property, located near the Isar river, offers 12 rooms, a roof terrace and its own underground garage. But Munich may not be the best place to buy your dream home. 

“Despite high prices, the plot sizes of the Munich houses are significantly smaller than most of the other properties in the ranking, which is probably due to the scarcely available, and therefore very expensive, plots of land within the Isar metropolis,” Immowelt said. 

Those who prefer to live in a rural setting were virtually spoilt for choice with two houses at eye-watering prices in the district of Starnberg. A villa on Lake Starnberg with its own private jetty was available for €12.5 million (3rd place). An estate on Lake Ammersee with a view of the Alps was on sale for a mere €12 million (5th place) this year. 

But for people who prefer the seaside, the island of Sylt in northern Germany is also an option for luxury.  

Of the 10 most expensive houses in Germany, three were on the North Sea island. A residence with a view of the Wadden Sea in the popular resort of Kampen was advertised for €13 million – the second most expensive house in the ranking.

The top 10 also includes a villa in Hamburg’s Blankenese district, which was advertised for a cool €11 million (7th place), and a €9 million property in Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia (9th place).

Immowelt analysed prices between January and November 2021 for their study. The final prices for the properties were not revealed – so some may have been even more expensive than the asking price.

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PROPERTY

How Germany’s property boom could be slowing down

Prices continue to rise steeply in the German property sector - but experts are seeing signs of a trend reversal.

How Germany's property boom could be slowing down

What’s going on? 

The Federal Statistics Office has just released its latest figures on property prices – and let’s just say it’s not great news for would-be buyers. 

In the first quarter of 2022 – from January to March – house prices shot up by an average of 12 percent compared to the previous year. It was the fourth time in a row that properties had gone up in value by more than ten percent in the space of a year. If these latest figures are anything to go by, Germany’s property boom is still in full swing.

Nevertheless, there are few things about the property market in the Bundesrepublik that are giving experts pause for thought. 

The first is the fact that, from quarter to quarter, property prices don’t seem to be rising as rapidly as they were last year.

READ ALSO: How soaring German property prices are out of reach for buyers

In fact, from the fourth quarter of 2021 (September to December) to the first quarter of 2022, the cost of buying a flat or a detached and semi-detached house only went up by around 0.8 percent. 

In the previous two quarters, prices had risen by 3.1 percent and 4.1 percent respectively.

“This indicates a slight weakening of the dynamics,” the Statistics Office said. 

The second issue is that, with interest rates on the up, demand has all but collapsed. The third issue is the concerns of the Bundesbank that property prices could well be over-inflated. 

Does that mean people aren’t buying property right now?

Kind of. In any case, far fewer people were seeking out places to buy in the first few months of 2022 than they were throughout 2021.

According to the online property portal Immoscout24, the demand for properties for sale in the first quarter of 2022 dropped by 17 percent within one year.

Adverts for residential properties are staying up for far longer than they used to, and sellers are having an increasingly tough time finding buyers.

High-rise buildings in Erfurt

High-rise flats and older buildings make up the Erfurt skyline. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Martin Schutt

Instead, it seems like Germans are returning to their age-old love affair with renting rather than buying. This could partly be to do with the fact that interest rates look set to rise over the coming years, making cheap mortgage deals increasingly hard to come by. 

“These developments could have a dampening effect on price trends in the medium term,” said ImmoScout24 managing director Gesa Crockford. This could offset the slight uptick in interest rates.

READ ALSO:

So what’s the outlook? 

Not all too rosy, unfortunately. Though prices could continue to rise in the medium term, some experts believe that the property boom will slow down after a decade or so. 

This is partly due to stuttering construction rates: at the moment, the construction industry is struggling against some serious headwinds, from ultra expensive building materials to endless supply bottlenecks. 

Germany’s Central Bank (the Bundesbank) has been warning for some time that property prices are inflated beyond their actual value.

In cities in particular, prices are between 15 and 30 percent above a level that can be justified by longer-term economic and demographic factors, the Bundesbank stressed in February.

This trend was amplified by the Covid pandemic, which saw people increasingly seeking living space outside of the cities where supply is scarce. 

Experts from German bank LBBW also say they expect a price correction if interest rates continue to rise strongly and the economy fails to recover. 

In this scenario, LBBW believes that price declines of 20 to 25 percent are possible.

Of course, this may not apply to all regions of the country equally. There tends to be big differences in price trends, for example, between the former East and West of Germany. 

One other area that’s still going strong is the buy-to-let market. While demand for homes for personal use is slipping, it seems there’s still a big appetite for so-called “capital investments” that are occupied by renters.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: The German property tax declaration owners need to know about

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