Private owners make up about 40% of the market; social housing and cooperative rentals are around 6% each.
Germany kept its economic stability during the financial crisis of 2008 and currently is the strongest economy in the Euro-zone. The real estate market survived the economic crisis and showed some of the best results in terms of price stability globally. However, the recent increase in property sales in Germany has driven house prices up.
House prices in major German cities
The prices and the demand for property in Germany are very different depending on the region. Munich is known as Germany’s most expensive city and consequently house prices there are higher than other cities. The average prices for 2011 illustrate these differences:
- Munich: €4,691 per square meter (sqm)
- Hamburg: €3,247 euros per sqm
- Düsseldorf: €2,128 per sqm
- Frankfurt: €2,148 per sqm
In general, housing prices in East Germany are lower than in Western Germany, relefecting lower incomes and a decreasing population. However, in some major cities, both population and prices are expected to increase in the future. In 2011, prices were the following:
- Berlin: €2,785 per sqm
- Dresden: €1,991 per sqm
- Leipzig: €1,600 per sqm
In small cities the purchase price per square meter can be as low as €700.
Buying property in Germany
The procedure of buying a house in Germany is easier than in most European countries. Looking for a house through a real estate agency is not always necessary, but hiring a notary is obligatory since only authorized individuals (notaries) can carry out a property purchase.
In general, Germany has no restrictions on foreign ownership. To buy property you only need a valid passport and enough money. The top relocation destinations in Germany for both locals and expatriates are Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt and Hamburg.