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Berlin the Most Attractive Property Market in Europe, Says PWC Survey

The most popular location for real estate investments from an international investor's perspective is Berlin. This is the upshot of a survey of the latest trends on European property markets published by the PWC consultancy firm. While the German capital leads the ranking, Hamburg and Dublin are trailing closely behind. Berlin already took the top spot from Munich – previously ranked best-of-class – in last year's nationwide screening of Germany's “Big Seven” cities. It came as no surprise, because Berlin's property market has registered twice as many prospective buyers as Hamburg and Munich every year since 2013.

That said, the international interest is not limited exclusively to Berlin. For the time being, Germany is definitely ahead of other countries in the market segment for residential real estate. According to the survey, cross-border investors were the driving force behind a six-percent hike in condominium prices nationwide. PWC asked 500 international buyers to assess the situation on the European property markets. Virtually all of the survey respondents (99 percent) considered Germany a particularly attractive market, with the nation's first city having by far the greatest appeal. Berlin's fortes include its young start-up scene of creative minds and its innovative strength above all. This has proven fertile ground not just for international start-up companies. The inflow of young people from abroad also adds to the anyway strong demand for residential real estate, be it for rental flats or condominiums as buy-to-let investments or as owner-occupied homes. It is quite common for parents to buy an apartment if they have children studying for a degree in Berlin, and the option is particularly popular among Asian families, according to market insiders. In China, for instance, German universities are held in high esteem because of the quality of their curriculum in the so-called MINT subjects (mathematics, information science, natural sciences, and technology). This means that Berlin benefits from the sound reputation of its universities, too.

Chinese Make Frugal Use of Space, while the English are Driven by Nostalgia – What Makes International Buyers Tick

Among the international clientèle, residential property in Berlin is particularly coveted by investors from China, Russia, the United States, Israel, and increasingly from the United Arab Emirates. But the number of leads from the British Isles keeps going up year after year as well. Depending on their culture of origin, foreign housing market investors can differ considerably in their preferences. Two-bedroom apartments for up to 350,000 euros, for example, are particularly popular among Chinese buyers. They will also examine a potential flat according to Feng Shui aspects, and they gravitate toward the luxury condo segment. British buyers, by contrast, care less about the size of a given apartment and more about its location. For they favour the wards located in the formerly British sector, which included the districts of Charlottenburg and Wilmersdorf. According to the PWC survey, these areas remind them of London while being much more affordable than a condominium in their own capital would be.

Accentro Sold Condos to Buyers from 26 Different Countries in 2015

Accentro is one of the companies selling extensively to cross-border investors. Year on year, the share of non-German buyers more than doubled in 2015, and currently accounts for roughly one third of the total. Throughout the year 2015, Accentro sold to buyers of 26 different nationalities. The largest groups of international condominium buyers hail from Italy and the Arab Emirates, followed by Russia, Turkey and Israel. Inversely, the majority of residential units sold by Accentro was located in Berlin.