The dark clouds that have covered the real estate market in Berlin in the first half of 2020 are clearing and there are many reasons to believe that the storm will not come. The initial situation in 2020 was really not ideal. In February the introduction of the legally controversial rent cap and shortly afterwards the outbreak of the Corona pandemic. In a gloomy overall mood, many were already singing swan songs about the housing market in the German capital. As of June, the mood in Berlin is still marked by some uncertainties, but already much more optimistic. Since we work on the basis of facts and not according to moods, we will provide you with the information afterwards to back up our statements. Shortly before the summer solstice, the situation on the Berlin real estate market looks very much as follows:
- On the market for sales real estate, insertions have returned to the level of the previous year. Offer prices are rising slightly and are at a median of around EUR 4,800/m² of living space.
- The rental housing market is also recovering. Overall, however, rental offers remain significantly below the previous year's level. Across all property listings, the median offered rent of the last three months is around 11.45 euros/m². If we extend the period further, the median offered rent falls to EUR 10.90 per square metre. The further we get into 2020, the more the value falls. Compared to the previous year, the offered rents are 3.8 percent higher. "Yikes", you'll say, "We've got the rent cap after all!" And, of course, you're absolutely right. But we also have the German Civil Code (BGB) rent, which, we remember, has been around a little longer than the rent cap. New contracts will continue to be offered and concluded legally and morally impeccable according to BGB. But only the rent on the rent cap is demanded and taken. This situation will remain until a decision is made by the Federal Constitutional Court.
There is not a single good thing about the Corona crisis. Many people succumbed to the virus and many, many more people rarely left their homes for weeks and months. The importance of an apartment and the certainty that ownership is possibly the better alternative to renting a flat is currently leading to a sharp increase in interest in real estate in Berlin. Never before have there been so many people in our market reports every day as there are now.
In a nutshell, one could say: people are always living and real estate has always proven to be the safest form of investment. And where there is a crisis, there is also a time after it. That's why we not only continue our extensive market report for you, but also add many interesting data to it, with weekly updated transaction data for rents and purchase prices in Berlin, current immigration figures and relevant blog entries.
If you are thinking about selling, we hope that after reading this report you will know which real estate agent in Berlin is the best for you.
We would also be happy to advise you by telephone, video call or e-mail. We look forward to your contact.
Your Peter Guthmann, Managing Director
Price-determining factors Berlin properties
|What points to stable to
|What points to a dampening
of real estate
|Crisis mood and
loss of equity
|Jobs at risk|
|Increasing influx from more
severely affected regions
|Decreasing influx, e.g. through
semester breaks and job cuts
|Shortage of property supply
(less new construction,
delay in permits)
|Completion of large rental
housing construction projects
|Falling interest rates due
to ECB support
|Rising interest rates due
to developments in the
|Evasive movement from capital markets||Regulation of the rental
|Evasive movement from
commercial to residential
|Risk of loss of rent for
and shift of risks from
state to landlords
|Negative interest on cash
|Declining returns through
|Rising construction costs||Elimination of allocation
possibilities (1-Euro cap)
|More engagement from
|Less engagement of
Berlin properties at a glance
Property prices in Berlin (offer prices) over the year
The supply market for apartments in Berlin at a glance with price segments and total number of apartments offered.
Housing stock in Berlin
At the end of 2018 there were almost 327,000 residential buildings in Berlin with about 1.95 million apartments, the majority of them in multi-storey buildings with 3 or more units. About 1.45 million apartments in Berlin are rented, status 2018. Around 337,000 units, including apartments in detached and semi-detached houses, are used by the owners themselves.
Construction not fast enough
According to our calculations, there are currently about 205,000 units lacking to cover housing needs in Berlin. We calculate the deficit from the difference between the ratio of the number of inhabitants to the statistical household size, minus the housing stock. The size of the boxes refers to the number of inhabitants of the districts, the colour signals the percentage housing deficit related to the existing housing stock.
Housing construction in Berlin
The shortage situation on the Berlin housing market cannot only be explained by the influx of new residents. A look at the past shows that the waves of immigration were based on an overhang of demand that was already high. In 2013, there were about 3.470 million registered residents in Berlin. With a statistical household size of 1.76 persons, the arithmetical demand at that time was 1.971 million apartments. The capital was already lacking around 88,600 apartments at that point - and since then Berlin has continued to grow.
Construction map Berlin
Our analyses show the construction completion reports since 2001 (source: Amt für Statistik Berlin-Brandenburg). We have aggregated the figures available at LOR level up to the old districts.
Price development Berlin
Looking at the city, the following development of the median asking prices in the portfolio segment and in new construction over the 10-year period can be seen.
Price index Berlin
|Period||Existing buildings Median Offer price||Index (base 10 years = 100)||New buildings Median Offer price||Index (base 10 years = 100)|
|Current quarter||4,850 EUR/m²||-||6,530 EUR/m²||-|
|1 Year||4,490 EUR/m²||8.20 %||6,260 EUR/m²||4.30 %|
|3 Years||3,590 EUR/m²||35.40 %||5,440 EUR/m²||19.90 %|
|5 Years||2,840 EUR/m²||71.00 %||4,200 EUR/m²||55.30 %|
|10 Years||1,600 EUR/m²||204.20 %||2,860 EUR/m²||128.50 %|
12 months Berlin
The birds eye view of the Berlin real estate market over the past 12 months shows how prices are influenced by years of construction, locations, occupancy rates, condition and other factors. We cluster the market according to construction year class and show in the diagram the supply distribution according to size and square metre prices. For reasons of clarity, we set the upper limits at an apartment size of 300 m² and a price per square metre of 12,000 EUR/m². You can deselect the construction year classes in the menu. You can find this analysis at local level in the carrier route reports.
Existing apartments and new buildings
In Berlin, in the past 12 months about 32,020 existing apartments have been advertised. The median is currently about 4,850 EUR/m². The price correction compared to the same period last year is thus approx. 8.20 %. In the new building segment the median for all locations and apartment types is currently about 6,290 EUR/m². There were approximately 5,100 properties on offer in the period of one year. New building projects are on average priced at 4.30 % higher than a year ago.
Evolution of price segments
We break down the supply market into four price segments for our analysis. It becomes apparent that for years, parallel to the price increase, there has been a reduction in the number of offers and a shift from the lower price segment to the two middle main segments. In the course of the restrictive rental policy, a slowdown of the trend can be observed in 2020.
Berlin Properties: Short-term development of quoted prices
In the course of 12 months, seasonal fluctuations and effects of regulatory measures become visible.
Rental prices in Berlin
The rise in rents in Berlin has stopped. In our analyses, we include the rental offers of the common portals and daily newspapers in Berlin.
Rents in new constructions
Rents are the major discussion topic in Berlin. The reasons for the sharp increases in recent years are not only to be found in the scarcity of supply and the slow pace of new construction. Significantly higher construction costs and land prices are playing a key role in the development of rental prices and purchase prices. Accordingly, rents have developed in the new construction segment. New contract rents are currently advertised at a median rent of 17.60 EUR/m², which corresponds to a price adjustment of about 9.50 % compared to the same period last year, based on 6,600 offers in 12 months. Within the last 5 years the cold rents in new buildings thus developed by about 45.90 %.
Large parts of the housing stock are heavily deteriorated as a result of many years of letting. Prior to the introduction of the rent cap, rented apartments were therefore often extensively renovated before new rentals were made. Since the introduction of the rent cap in February 2020, more and more rented flats have been re-let without modernisation.
According to our analyses, in the last 12 months about 63,100 rental apartments (existing units) were offered for re-rental. The new contract rents advertised during this period averaged around a median of 11.25 EUR/m². This corresponds to a price adjustment of about 0.60 % compared to the same period of the previous year. Within the last 5 years the new contract rents in Berlin developed by about 30.90 %.
Two rents in Berlin: German Civil Code (BGB) and rent cap
The rent cap means that two rents apply in Berlin. Since the law is limited to a five-year term and there is the possibility that it will fail at the Federal Constitutional Court, landlords must ensure when concluding new rental agreements that the rent permitted under the German Civil Code will flow after expiration or in the event of failure. This is only applicable when the rent in rental agreements continues to be based on the German Civil Code (BGB), but only the rent cap rent is demanded during the period of the law's effect.
Offer rents, free housing market Berlin
|Period||Existing buildings Median Offer price||Index (base 10 years = 100)||New buildings Median Offer price||Index (base 10 years = 100)|
|Current quarter||11.45 EUR/m²||-||17.60 EUR/m²||-|
|1 Year||11.25 EUR/m²||1.90 %||16.10 EUR/m²||9.50 %|
|3 Years||10.15 EUR/m²||12.60 %||13.60 EUR/m²||29.70 %|
|5 Years||8.75 EUR/m²||30.90 %||12.05 EUR/m²||45.90 %|
The Bubble Chart shows the supply situation of the last 12 months on the property market in Charlottenburg. The colors mark the year of construction classes, the size of the bubbles the quantity of offers, the location in the coordinate system price radius (square meters) and apartment sizes.
The chart shows the changes in the price structure of the district based on four price segments. A clear shift can also be seen in the rental price segments. In the 12-month period about 63,100 existing apartments were offered on the market for new rentals. We register the largest number of offers in the medium price segments of 8 - 11 EUR/m² and 11 - 14 EUR/m². In recent years, we have registered a significant increase in the higher price segments.
Rental market Berlin: Short-term development of rents (new rentals)
In the course of 12 months, seasonal fluctuations and possible effects of regulatory measures become visible.
Preserved areas according to §172 BauGB (Baugesetzbuch), usually shortened to the term "Milieuschutz" (protection of the milieu), have developed from an original urban planning instrument to a political one. For owners, landlords and sellers, milieu protection is a central issue besides the rent cap. The preservation statutes intervene in almost every phase of a real estate engagement. Many owners are surprised by Milieuschutz, as its development is not transparent. Please also visit our milieu protection section, where you will find an overview of our services. By means of our milieu protection map, you can check whether your property is located in a conservation area according to § 172 BauGB, or in an investigation or observation area. We continuously check all relevant resolutions of the BVV (local parliaments) and update our environmental protection map.
Prospects for 2020
There are few countries that have done as well as Germany in the now easing crisis of the Covid 19 virus pandemic. Even if the real estate market in Berlin is in a sleep mode for the reasons mentioned above, Berlin will soon regain its strengths. Paradoxically, the regulatory measures in the rental market will also have a positive influence on further development, because in Berlin investors can already build on experience and a fixed set of rules, while in other countries in the wake of the crisis regulation is yet to come. Invest in Berlin real estate now.
The structures of the population with a migration background in Berlin are very heterogeneous, due to the historically divergent developments prior to the reunification. Even today, the international percentage of the population in the western part of the city is almost three times as high as in the eastern districts. Social spatial patterns are recognizable both with regard to the proportion of migrants in the total population of the districts and neighbourhoods and with regard to their origin. In our map, you can filter by nationality and display the proportion of your selection at district and LOR level.
The population of Berlin currently consists of about 200 nationalities. In addition to 2,992,150 citizens of German nationality (as of 2019), the German capital is developing its dynamism and cultural diversity in interacting with foreign citizens. The chart shows the composition of the foreign population by nationality.
Berlin's attractiveness is expressed in the fact that its composition is constantly changing. Here we show where people are currently coming from and what the interaction between the districts is like.
- All migrations
This report was last updated on 09.07.2020 .
The Guthmann Market Report is a semi-automated report about the property market in Berlin. All information has been carefully researched and is given to the best of our knowledge and belief. We assume no liability for completeness, deviations, changes and errors. Our report does not represent an investment recommendation.
Amt für Statistik Berlin-Brandenburg: Einwohnerregisterstatistik (Bewegungsdaten), Fortschreibung des Wohngebäude- und Wohnungsbestandes, Ergebnisse des Haushaltegenerierungsverfahren KOSIS-HHGen, Baufertigstellungen. IMV GmbH: Rohdaten Preise und Mieten. Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung und Wohnen: Umwandlungsdaten (2018), Geoportal Berlin (FIS-Broker). Immobilienverband Deutschland IVD (2018/2019): Immobilienpreisservice 2018/2019.
Housing deficit (Treemap): The Statistics Office updates the household data based on the 2011 micro-census. Determination of household count and statistical household size via household generation procedures (KOSIS). We calculate the real household size / housing deficits via the ratio number of inhabitants to number of apartments.
Purchase prices and rents (charts and reports): Calculation of the median on the basis of raw data, own visualization.
Migrations: Aggregation and visualization based on transaction data.