Real estate sales in Germany have doubled

In the past ten years, twice as much money has flowed into real estate in Germany as before. Reviewers see no signs of a trend change, but warn against frivolous purchases.

New apartments in Berlin

In Germany, twice as much money goes into real estate than ten years ago. According to an initial extrapolation by official experts, it was 260 to 270 billion euros last year, around 10 to 15 billion euros more than in the previous year. “There are no indications of a trend reversal,” says Peter Ache, the branch manager of the working group of the expert committees. It is also not ruled out that real estate sales in 2018 exceeded the sum of 300 billion euros.

“Interest rates are still low and immigration to the cities is almost unchanged,” says Ache, describing the reasons for the unusually long boom. In addition, building land remains scarce in the cities. A little more building plots were sold in 2018. “However, it remains to be seen whether this slight upward trend will be sufficient to realize the approximately 380,000 new apartments required.”

In 2009 the Germans had spent around 130 billion euros on houses, apartments and land. Since then the curve has been pointing upwards. As in previous years, around a million properties are likely to have changed hands in 2018, Ache estimates.

Prices are rising, especially in cities. “But it is also pushing more and more into the urban area,” said the expert. Demand is increasing in the bacon belts. Depending on how good the train connection is, house and apartment buyers would take long commutes, for example from Lüneburg to Hamburg, 50 kilometers away.

The appraiser warned against buying an apartment recklessly in view of the ongoing boom. “One must not neglect the uncertainty of real estate prices in a long-term comparison.” The value could fluctuate significantly over the decades.

The working group collects the reports of the communal expert committees. This includes the data from all sales contracts – unlike other market studies that are based on advertisements. The working group will present its next nationwide report at the end of this year.