Property and Real Estate in Berlin

News and notes on the development of Berlin's undervalued property and real estate markets.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Map of Berlin's "social development" by area

Berlin is a huge city, and if you're not familiar with it, it's not always easy to judge what a certain area's "character" might be like. Viewed from the streets, some districts can look quite attractive, but this isn't always a reflection of the social structure behind the fassades. The city government has just released a "Social Development Status Atlas" (Entwicklungsindikator Soziale Stadtentwicklung, pictured right) which provides an easy-to-understand overview of where's hot, and where's not quite so hot

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Friday, November 16, 2007

The body charged with marketing Berlin's surplus real estate, the Liegenschaftfonds, has just announced that the Amerika-Haus next to Zoo Station is up for sale.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Germany is a nation of renters - and animal owners. With over 8 million cats and 5 million dogs, the issue of keeping pets in rented apartments is a frequent source of conflict between renters and landlords (and quite often the neighours too). Standard German rental contracts include a clause which specifically allows only small birds and aquarium fish: for any other kind of pet, whether hamsters or alligators, the landlord's explicit permission is necessary.

The standard text (§8 No. 4 of the standard rental contract) is as follows:

"jede Tierhaltung, insbesondere von Hunden und Katzen, mit Ausnahme von Ziervögeln und Zierfischen, … der Zustimmung des Vermieters"

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

After years in the doldrums, Berlin's population is continuing to grow - if ever so slightly. The Berlin-Brandenburg Statistics Agency reported that the city's population has seen a net increase of 1,250 persons over the six months to the end of July, reaching a total of 3,405,300 inhabitants. This means that Berlin's population has been steadily increasing since 2005 - but is still some way below the level it reached during the early 1990s (see graph below).

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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Friedrichstraße's prestigious boutique mall, Quartier 205, has just changed owner: the 8 storey building has just been snapped for €275 million up by CEO of Spanish clothing group Zara, Amancio Ortega, working together with the private bank Banif. Previous owner was the US group Tishman-Speyer.

This purchase comes not long after Zara's announcement that it will be opening its largest Berlin store a little further up the Friedrichstraße in the Upper Eastside Berlin complex (currently under construction).

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Friday, October 5, 2007

Looking for an unusual piece of property in a central location with a fantastic view? Berlin's TV tower - the second highest structure in Europe - is up for sale by current owners Deutsche Telekom. They're not revealing their asking price, but it's likely to have a fair number of zeros on the end. The tower is also probably not suited to residential use - for safety reasons gas and electric cookers are not allowed, so you'd have to get pizzas sent up to you every day.

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Noise levels in Berlin

If you're thinking of investing in Berlin, one factor to take into account are noise levels: while the city is one of Europe's less turbulent capitals, certain zones - particularly along the main radial and tangential roads and close to major transport hubs such as airports - suffer from high levels of background noise, which vastly reduces their attractiveness as residential locations.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Berlin's property market might be booming, and some investors are even looking to the surrounding state of Brandenburg for bargains. But watch out: that nice picturesque village might be in the direct path of a huge excavator, a number of which churn through vast areas of eastern Germany to extract brown coal (Braunkohle).

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

One of Berlin's more prominent locations, the Friedrichstraße / Unter den Linden crossing, is finally taking shape. Construction work on a new real estate project on the site of the old Hotel Berlin is well underway, with the foundations now complete, and the tenants for the new building - a 200 million Euro investment grandly named Upper Eastside Berlin - have just been announced by the backing company behind the project, MEAG (Munich Ergo Asset Management).

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The body charged with marketing Berlin's surplus real estate, the Liegenschaftfonds, has just announced the sale of a 20,000m² ("Diplomatenpark") plot in the Diplomatic Quarter near the Tiergarten. Around 100 upmarket apartments are to be constructed on the plot, which is situated between the Tiergartenstraße and Köbisstraße, by 2010.

For an idea of the property on sale here, click here for an expose (PDF format).

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