Last Update: 02.12.2019

Investors Guide Berlin Prenzlauer Berg 2019

Prenzlauer Berg, actually always called "Prenzelberg", found many fans in West Berlin shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall. That the former workers' district morphed into a Swabian metropolis is a legend. But it is true that a fundamental change occurred in Prenzlauer Berg with the fall of the Berlin Wall. First the scene, later students, then families. In fact a quite normal development...

Berlin Prenzlauerberg

The trendsetter

Prenzlauer Berg was the first boom quarter of the German capital and plays a pioneering role. Nowhere in the early 1990s did so many people move in as here. However, it is wrong to talk about population exchange. Rather, it was an ongoing process of change that also affected many other quarters in Berlin after the fall of communism; a natural process because the city was no longer divided. In the context of the post-communist era, change and transformation were a cultural shock for many residents. Socialism turned to free economy, many rental apartments to ownership. In the 1980s Prenzlauer Berg bled out from the population. Most of the buildings and apartments had pre-war standards. Coal stove, outside toilets, no bathrooms. The GDR state was not interested in Prenzlauer Berg and relocated many people into the modern prefabricated housing estates in Marzahn and Hellersdorf. The consequence were thousands of empty flats in Prenzelberg and a massively eroded housing stock at the end of the century. The truth is that the house renovations from this time saved the stock from complete decay. With liveable houses the streetscape and the structure of inhabitants changed. The mixture was colourful: creative people, students, international visitors and many people with an unusually high purchasing power for Prenzlauer Berg. In the 30 years since then, the street scene has evolved. Today in many quarters chic new and old buildings line the streets. The prices for old buildings came almost up to the new building prices. The proportion of academics in some neighborhoods today is up to 75 percent. 

Existing buildings

Median Asking price
5,750 EUR/m²
+16.80 %
Median Asking rent
15.00 EUR/m²
+4.60 %

New buildings

Median Asking price
4,640 EUR/m²
-16.70 %
Median Asking rent
18.75 EUR/m²
+5.90 %

Markets

Prenzlauer Berg is not a very large district in terms of area but it borders around with popular neighbours: Pankow, Wedding, Mitte, Friedrichshain and Hohenschönhausen as well as Weissensee. Thanks to its excellent infrastructure, the district is a core area for the surrounding districts. In the northeast there is the park "Volkspark Prenzlauer Berg", built after the Second World War as a hill of wreckage. Besides the little lakes in the Volkspark Prenzlauer Berg and in the Ernst-Thälmann-Park, water areas are otherwise quite rare. Among the most sought-after neighbourhoods there are Kollwitzplatz, Arnimplatz, the quarters around Bornholmer Strasse and Wisbyer Strasse and various micro-locations along Greifswalder Strasse. The demand is high everywhere. The discrepancy between statistical and arithmetical household size shows that the market is in relative equilibrium. Helmholtzplatz and Bötzowviertel are particularly popular places for families. The Bötzow quarter is home to Kurt Schwitters School, one of Berlin's largest schools. The Kastanienallee is also called "Castingallee". Here and in the Gleim quarter, not far away, international life is bustling. On weekends the Mauerpark is a meeting place for people from Prenzlauer Berg and an international crowd. Prenzlauer Berg is practiced calmness with a dash of normality in everyday life.

Building activity in Prenzlauer Berg

The suburb Prenzlauer Berg is part of the administrative district Pankow. Its housing stock amounts to 94.000 units distributed over 15 statistical planning areas LOR ( Lebensweltlich orientierte Räume). With an average apartment size of 73,0m², Prenzlauer Berg is in line with the Berlin average. The difference between the statistical household size (1.65 persons per household) and the calculated household size (1.79 persons per household) is comparatively small.

The peak of construction activity in Prenzlauer Berg was recorded in 2015. When and in which quarters (LOR) construction completions were reported, can be seen from the map. (Source: Amt für Statistik Berlin-Brandenburg)

Property prices Prenzlauer Berg

The real estate market in Prenzlauer Berg is characterized by constant growth in prices and an equally constant decline in supply numbers. In the 12-month period the price development in the stock segment was 16.80 % and in the new building segment -16.70 %. The average price of an offer in the inventory is 5,750 EUR/m². The average list price across all apartment sizes in the new construction segment is 4,640 EUR/m²

Price index Prenzlauer Berg

Period Existing buildings Median Offer price Index (base 10 years = 100) New buildings Median Offer price Index (base 10 years = 100)
Today 5,750 EUR/m² - 4,640 EUR/m² -
1 Year 4,920 EUR/m² 16.80 % 5,570 EUR/m² -16.70 %
3 Years 4,090 EUR/m² 40.40 % 4,900 EUR/m² -5.40 %
5 Years 3,250 EUR/m² 76.90 % 4,280 EUR/m² 8.40 %
10 Years 2,290 EUR/m² 151.60 % 2,860 EUR/m² 62.20 %

Snapshot

The Bubble Chart shows the supply situation of the last 12 months for the property market in Prenzlauer Berg. The colors indicate the year of construction classes, the size of the bubbles the quantity of offers, the location in the coordinate system the price radius (square meters) and apartment sizes.

Price segments

The development of the purchase price segments shows a supply shortage. Supply and demand are drifting wider in Prenzlauer Berg than in other districts. In the segment below 2,000 EUR/m² practically no properties are offered anymore. The segment of 4,000 - 6,000 EUR/m² still prevails, but is in exchange with the upper purchase price segment.

Property prices Prenzlauer Berg annual cycle

The chart below shows the development of property prices in Prenzlauer Berg on a monthly basis.

Rent prices Prenzlauer Berg

The rental offer in Prenzlauer Berg in the past 12 months was of about 3,350 apartments. The average (offered) rent for existing apartments in this period was about 14.10 EUR/m². For new apartments one had to pay on average 17.70 EUR/m². The price development for existing apartments was  4.60 %, for new apartments 5.90 %.

Rent index Prenzlauer Berg

Period Existing buildings Median Offer price Index (base 10 years = 100) New buildings Median Offer price Index (base 10 years = 100)
Today 15.00 EUR/m² - 18.75 EUR/m² -
1 Year 14.35 EUR/m² 4.60 % 17.70 EUR/m² 5.90 %
3 Years 12.00 EUR/m² 25.00 % 15.10 EUR/m² 24.10 %
5 Years 10.45 EUR/m² 43.50 % 12.75 EUR/m² 46.90 %

Snapshot

The bubble chart shows the supply situation of the past 12 months on the property market in Prenzlauer Berg. 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. Construction activity in the rental housing sector in Prenzlauer Berg is very low. Price-fixed housing is mainly offered in the 1950-1978 construction year class. The widest range can be found in old buildings.

Rent segments

The chart shows the changes in the price structure of the district based on four price segments. How many apartments were offered in the different price segments? The line shows the development of the average offer price per square metre across all apartment types and price segments for existing apartments.

Rent prices Prenzlauer Berg annual cycle

The chart below shows the development of rent prices in Prenzlauer Berg on a monthly basis.

Apartment buildings

The district Prenzlauer Berg belongs to Pankow since the district reform in 2001. In Prenzlauer Berg the townscape is a mixture of apartment buildings from the Wilhelminian era (Gründerzeit), mixed with modern residential buildings. The building stock in Prenzlauer Berg amounts to approx. 6,850 units with some  93,500 apartments. The housing typology makes Prenzlauer Berg on the one hand a family district (many large flats), on the other hand 39 percent of the households are one-person households. Interestingly many big apartments seem to be held by one person only. In 2009 the market for apartment buildings in Prenzlauer Berg showed the strongest sales activity with almost 150 transactions. The average offer price was 1,470 EUR/m² at this time. Today it is at 3,540 EUR/m², while the transaction numbers have decreased by 90 percent. With the introduction of milieu protection areas around Teutoburger Platz, Helmholtzplatz and Bötzowstrasse in 2014 and the application of the Conversion Ordinance (Umwandlungsverordnung) as of March 2015, a further drop in supply is measurable. 

The "IVD Immobilienpreisservice", English "Property Price Service of the German Real Estate Association" indicates the purchase price range for apartment buildings in Prenzlauer Berg according to location and year of construction classes. Accordingly, the certified (notarized) sqm-prices for multi-family houses in central locations in Prenzlauer Berg are approx. 3,400 EUR/m². The difference of approximately 15 percent to the offer prices determined by us corresponds to the usual market negotiating range. 

Construction era Simple to medium locations Medium to good locations
1900 - 1949 1,300 - 2,600 EUR/m² 1,700 - 3,300 EUR/m²
1950 - 1989 1,300 - 2,200 EUR/m² 1,600 - 2,800 EUR/m²
1979 - 2000 1,500 - 2,500 EUR/m² 2,000 - 2,900 EUR/m²
since 2001 1,600 - 2,900 EUR/m² 2,200 - 3,400 EUR/m²
Source: IVD Immobilienpreisservice 2018/2019

Milieu protection

In Prenzlauer Berg there are currently nine conservation areas (milieu protection areas) in accordance with §172 BauGB with a total area of about 512 ha. This corresponds to about 46% of the total area of the Prenzlauer Berg district.

Milieu protection area In force since Area in ha Extended Last update
Falkplatz 1997 28.2 - 2017
Arnimplatz 1999 50.6 - 2017
Humannplatz 2000 57.2 2017 2017
Ostseestrasse/Grellstrasse 2003 63.4 - 2017
Bötzowstrasse 2014 53.0 2017 -
Helmholtzplatz 2014 67.9 - -
Kollwitzplatz 2014 76.6 - -
Teutoburger Platz 2014 52.0 - -
Winsstrasse 2014 63.8 - -

Milieu protection map Prenzlauer Berg

Check in our milieu protection map Berlin whether your property is located in a protection area, an investigation area or a suspected area. Our milieu protection map is continuously revised and updated on basis of the resolutions of the district assemblies (BVV). Please also visit our milieu protection area for further information.

General background

The property market in Prenzlauer Berg is an established market, which has been less turbulent with regard to price developments in recent years than the newcomers among the neighbourhoods and districts (such as Neukölln and Wedding). In the early 1990s, many West Berliners moved to the exciting, new and transforming quarters in Prenzlauer Berg. The district quickly became an internationally sought-after location. In a second wave, many properties were renovated and converted into condos. The renewal of the partially heavily eroded apartment and building stock was a matter of time and absolutely necessary, as many buildings were on the verge of not being habitable anymore. The strong demand for ownership (condos) and the fact that there was still limited supply in the eastern part of Berlin led to a local real estate boom.

Until 2001 the number of conversions in Prenzlauer Berg was about 16,000 units. At the same time, many attractive projects resulted in new living environments. In 1997 the first milieu protection "Falkplatz" was introduced. In 1999 and 2000 the district added two more areas (Arnimplatz, Humannplatz). Today the district has a total of 9 milieu protection areas. The early modernization/refurbishment, mostly connected with conversion into condos and the large number of new buildings resulted in a very active market despite the sharp restrictions of the district. 

Migration

While Prenzlauer Berg shows a negative balance following the current trend within Berlin, the district gains population from international and national migrations. In suburban terms, there are slight tendencies to drift away. Thus a reversal of the currents has taken place, which until the turn of the millennium were mainly fed from inland trains. The international influxes to Prenzlauer Berg are dominated by the USA and Western European countries. The national influxes are led by North Rhine-Westphalia, Brandenburg, Bavaria, followed by Baden-Württemberg. In suburban relations, the district loses residents to the districts of Oberhavel, Barnim and Potsdam. The balance is also negative in internal relations. Prenzlauer Berg has lost to the other districts of Berlin in the course of 5 years. Friedrichshain, Mitte, Pankow and Wedding are the main targets.

  • All migrations
  • International
  • National
  • Suburban
  • Binnen
  • Hotspot

Trend

The major upheavals in Prenzlauer Berg took place many years ago. When other districts were still in their childhood stages, Prenzlauer Berg was already experiencing a local real estate boom. Besides many private buyers, international companies also invested in its inventory. The trendy neighborhood soon became a large, established and bourgeois middle-class neighborhood. The heterogeneous real estate landscape consisting of renovated old buildings and new buildings from more than 15 years of active building activity has not only shaped the streetscape, but also the demographics. The high household incomes compared to Berlin are an expression of the cut through society in Prenzlauer Berg. 93,000 flats are available, with a total population of 166,000 people. 65,000 Prenzlauer Berger live in one-person households. The stock of one-room apartments amounts to 4,400 units, of two-room apartments 22,000 units. One- and two-room apartments provide a total of 26,400 apartments. Almost 39,000 people in Prenzlauer Berg must therefore live as a one-person household in apartments with 3 rooms and more. The demand in Prenzlauer Berg lies both in the segment of compact flats for single-person households and in the segment of flats with four rooms and more.

This report was last updated on 02.12.2019 .

Disclaimer

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.

Sources

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.

Methodology

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.