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Living in Germany: Housing bubbles, mind-aching homophones and flying dragons

The Local Germany
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Living in Germany: Housing bubbles, mind-aching homophones and flying dragons
Kites at a festival in Berlin on September 19th 2022. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Jörg Carstensen

In our weekly roundup about life in Germany, we look at changes to the housing market, confusing German words to hear, rock formations and kite season.


Could Germany’s priciest cities be set for a slump?

This week saw the Economics Ministry update its forecasts for the coming year - and it isn’t particularly good news for consumers. While we’re all hoping that this period of soaring costs will come to an end soon, Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) reckons we could see a continuation of skyrocketing prices well into next year - and alongside high inflation, a recession could also be on the cards. However, there’s one area where price increases do seem to be slowing down: the German housing market.

A study by Swiss bank UBS has identified two German cities - Frankfurt and Munich - as areas with the highest risk of a housing bubble in the entirety of the Eurozone. The sobering report comes after years of double-digit property price increases that have made buying a home in both cities an increasingly unattainable dream. According to UBS, there are now clear signs that the housing market in the Hessian and Bavarian capitals is cooling down: prices grew by just five percent last year, and demand appears to be tapering off due as borrowing gets more expensive. 


Among some of the astounding stats from the study is that current house prices in Munich are equivalent to a whopping 46 years of rental income - which is pretty incredible, given that Munich has some of the highest rents in Germany. Let us know if you think it’s still worth buying a home in Germany - or if long-term renting is the way to go. 

Tweet of the week

Just when you thought you were making progress in German, some tricksy homophones like these come along to make everything confusing again. Personally, we think the wieder willig / widerwillig one is particularly cruel. Have any of these tripped you up before? 

Where is this?

Autumn in Saxony

Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Robert Michael

These stunning rock formations can only mean one thing: this is, of course, the Basteibrücke (Bastion Bridge) which weaves between soaring sandstone mountains in the Saxon Switzerland National Park. With Germany experiencing something of an Indian Summer right now, it’s the perfect time to get out hiking and explore some awe-inspiring natural landscapes - and, if you’re lucky, even catch a sunrise or two. 

Did you know?

Autumn is in full swing in Germany, and one of the ways Germans like to enjoy some fresh air on cooler days is by getting out to a park and flying a kite. Interestingly enough, “kite” in German is “Drachen” - which literally means dragon. We’re not quite sure how they got this adorable name, but it could be to do with the popularity of flying dragon-shaped kites, given how well they stay in the air.


Fans of kite-flying - and kites in general - should definitely put a visit to Berlin’s annual ‘Festival der Riesendrachen’ (festival of huge kites, or dragons) on their bucket list. The kite festival is held on Tempelhofer Feld, a former airport that was turned into a public park and still has the old runways - making it the ideal location for kite flying. You’ll see your fair share of actual dragons there, along with other weird and wonderful kites, but the main idea is: the bigger the better. And if you’re lucky, you may also catch some storytellers spinning tales about dragons that the whole family can enjoy. 

Thanks for reading,

The Local Germany team

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