Berlin Takes Top Spot among European Real Estate Locations
No other real estate location in Europe offers investors long-term opportunities as robust as those in the German capital. This is the gist of a joint survey annually conducted by PwC and the Urban Land Institute. According to the survey, headlined “Emerging Trends in Real Estate: Europe 2021,” Berlin has taken over the lead position from the French capital, Paris.1
The top 10 list of cities with the brightest prospects includes another three German metropolises, these being Frankfurt am Main (rank 4), Hamburg (rank 6) and Munich (rank 7). The ranking shows that Germany counts among the most attractive destinations for real estate investors, compared to other European countries.
Germany Presents Robust Picture during COVID-19 Pandemic
A major reason why Germany represents such a sound real estate location is the robustness that its economy and its real estate market have displayed during the coronavirus crisis. Investors are confident that income from real estate will be resilient in the ongoing crisis, or so PwC suggests. The survey quotes one fund manager with the words that Germany appears to be in a better position in this crisis than other countries in Europe: “… if you’re going to buy anywhere, you buy in Germany.”
According to PwC, Berlin has taken the number one spot among the cities with the best investment prospects, not least because of its upward potential in rents. Next in line after Berlin are London and Paris, with Amsterdam, Madrid, Milan and Vienna also in the top 10.
Property Funds Step up Residential Commitments
The survey by PwC and the Urban Land Institute also emphasises that capital remains plentiful despite the coronavirus crisis. The survey authors consider this a key difference from the 2008 financial crisis, after which the amounts of capital invested receded drastically. For real estate markets, this is a positive piece of news, because the low level of interest has prompted many investors to shift to real estate as a comparatively safe asset class.
Here is another piece of news of interest in this context: Property funds have lately stepped up their investments in residential real estate. The ratio has increased from a share of 1.1 percent in open-ended real estate funds in 2019 to 2.1 percent in 2020. Of course, this is still a very small share in the open-ended property funds, which are dominated by office real estate above all. However, the share of residential real estate is expected to keep going up. Among institutional funds, the residential real estate share continued to rise from 6 percent in 2014 to already 35 percent by 2019, according to Michael Schneider, the CEO of Intreal.2