Real estate in Germany

Real estate in Germany – Residential prices rise

The German Office of Statistics publishes fresh data: prices of apartments and private homes are on the rise

Supply is insufficient, and interest rates have never been lower

The German National Bureau of Statistics released fresh data last week, confirming the fact that German housing prices continue to rise in the periphery, similarly to the major cities. On average, the increase in prices across Germany was 5% compared to the same period last year. In the “Big 7” the prices of apartments rose by 8.6%, and of private homes by 6.9%. These figures for peripheral areas were 1.7% and 4.5%, respectively. According to the data, prices have increased by an average of 22% since 2015, with prices in major cities rising by 41% for apartments and 36% for homes. In less central areas, figures stand at + 21.4% for homes and + 16% for apartments.

High demand from both private and institutional investors is pushing the prices up. Ernst & Young conducted a survey showing that many insurance companies purchase mostly office real estate, but also residential real estate, and 70% of companies that participated in the survey plan to continue this trend. Investments in shares, as compared to real estate, are considered to be a higher risk.

Experts from Europace say prices are rising because supply is simply unable to meet demand, but this is not the only parameter. In addition, an increase in income and favorable financing conditions contribute to the significant increase. In analyzing the data, it can be seen that in practice, it is only in Munich that buyers will have to spend more of their monthly income to finance their real estate: this is due to higher income levels and significantly lower interest rates than in the past.

In addition, the amount of building permits that the state grants does not satisfy the demand. This year, the number of permits distributed decreased compared with last year. This is in addition to the estimate that the gap between the amount of permits that corresponded to the level of demand compared to the actually distributed permits is about 100,000.

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Real estate in Germany

Real estate in Germany – Grundsteuer

Changes in German real estate tax laws?

The German government is considering a new land tax law

According to the new law, the land taxes (Grundsteuer) that is being paid in Germany every quarter will be calculated based on a combination of the following parameters: artificial rental income, value of the land based on data from the municipality, and the age of the building. The proposal of this method caused mixed reactions throughout Germany.

It is a problematic issue, partly due to the fact that municipalities benefit from income from land taxes, but it is the government at the federal level that determines the binding laws.

Both the owners and the tenants pay land tax on real estate in Germany, and both groups will be affected by it: the owners pay directly to the municipality, while the tenants pay the amount as part of the additional payments to the basic rent, the Nebenkosten.

On the one hand, the proposed method of calculation of Grundsteuer is logical because all the data are related and dependent on each other. On the other hand, there are a number of problems with it.

First, the value of land in East Germany is based on data from 1935, and on data from 1964 in the West. In addition, the importance of several areas in Germany has changed in terms of real estate, such as the Bavarian region.

Secondly, the new process will involve a huge and full-time labor force. The mayor of Düsseldorf in Nord Rhine Westphalia objects to the move and says the land tax should be based on the value of the land alone, and the proposed method is a plot to create jobs for employees in the tax system. It is estimated that at least 2,500 new full-time employees will be required to renew the tax value, and from the moment the law is passed, it might take longer than two years until new prices are implemented.

Many in real estate in Germany is almost certain that the law will pass by the summer, even though the arguments on the issue will not cease to exist. But if the law does not pass, there is a danger that the land tax will stop to exist, which will seriously damage the municipalities in Germany. The move will require a lot of effort and time, but it is likely that it will lay the foundation on which the land tax in Germany will now be calculated.

Posted by Tanya Yujelevski  |  0 Comment  |  in Berlin, general
real estate in germany

Co-working spaces

An increase in take-up of co-working spaces throughout Germany

The trend of “flexible office spaces” is gaining momentum and is reflected in the seven major cities of Germany

Interestingly, co-working is a fairly new trend in Germany, which was virtually nonexistent in 2016. Today, we see about 360,000 square meters of such offices in Germany’s major office real estate markets. According to experts, in the first three quarters of 2018 the number of flexible offices was 170,000 square meters in the seven major cities of Germany (Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Frankfurt and Stuttgart), representing 6% of office areas in that period. Occupancy in Berlin stood at 20,000 square meters, 50,000 square meters in Munich and 43,000 square meters in Frankfurt.

The real difficulty is finding suitable space for renters within the “big 7” boundaries, especially for those looking for an office space of 4,000-10,000 sq.m. When it comes to Berlin, experts believe that if there was more space available occupancy would rise accordingly, since the main problem is availability rather than demand.

The amount of flexible office space has risen by 25% in the last year, which is equivalent to an additional 500,000 sq. m of office space, of which about 75,000 sq. m have been leased in Berlin over the past year, in contrast with 14,000 the year before.

In addition, WeWork is expected to expand its offices in Berlin. Start-ups need spaces of this kind because they cannot predict exactly where they will be in five years. However, demand among established companies remains high as well.

As of now, 1% of the office space in the real estate market of the seven largest cities in Germany is made up of co-working offices, compared with 2% -4% in London, Singapore, San Francisco and Amsterdam’s markets, but more companies are expected to move larger parts their offices for co-working spaces, and even if this number gets to 5%, there will be severe commercialization of vacant spaces of this kind.

“Part of the problem”, experts say, “is the unwillingness of property owners to rent their properties for this specific use, and instead they prefer working directly with companies.”

Posted by Tanya Yujelevski  |  0 Comment  |  in Berlin, general
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professional immigration

The German Interior Ministry is considering easing immigration to address the shortage of real estate experts

The German government will discuss bills that will facilitate immigration from countries outside the European Union into Germany to compensate for the shortage of skilled workers, in the field of real estate among others

Germany’s Interior Minister Horst Seehofer is expected to present a new proposal to the Bundestag in the near future, according to which citizens of third countries (i.e., non-EU members) will be given the option to seek employment within Germany in predefined areas.

Areas in question are ones where there is currently a shortage of professionals in Germany. According to the proposal, these individuals will be able to go to Germany and look for employment for a period of six months.

This is on the assumption that they prove that they have completed relevant education. At the same time, the proposal seeks to revoke a previously valid clause called “priority review,” according to which it was mandatory to check in advance whether there is a German citizen who can fill the relevant position before the foreign national.

Seehofer believes that this is a necessary and important step, and that it will create a good framework for professional migration. So far, many professionals from countries such as Poland and Romania have arrived in Germany from within the European Union, but it seems that the time has come to examine other options as well.

At present there is another system in place in Germany – the “blue card” method, which until now has been given mainly to IT professionals coming from India. The new proposal, on the other hand, is expected to attract more experts to Germany in a wider range of areas, including real estate.

So far Germany has had a hard time finding real estate professionals: out of 100 job openings in all fields ranging from plumbing to civil engineering, only 49-55 have been filled by a professional with matching skills.

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Jerusalem real estate


Judith Ben Avi Real Estate Company has been a long established (since 1982) Real Estate in Jerusalem as a small family business, specializing in Residential Lettings and offering a modern, comprehensive and professional service in all aspects of Jerusalem rentalsof luxury apartments as well as a full Sales service

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How can I buy a property without seeing it?

Although you might naturally be curious, truth is that there is little meaning in visiting the property. Let’s assume you visited the apartment and liked it, let’s assume the tenant moves out after 10 years, will it still be in the same condition? Probably not.
At times, a touch up may be necessary or it might even be in a better condition than before. The locals usually take good care of their apartments and sometimes even renovate themselves. Therefore, it is not crucial to visit the apartment. Should you insist,  we will of course arrange for a visit, after notifying the management company and the tenant, taking the local terms/limitations into consideration.

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Why use your services and not take a German real estate agent?

1. Full service in Hebrew/English/German/Russian, close to home, high accessibility.

2. Excellent customer service, full guidance throughout the whole purchase process including financing and notarization.

3. In most cases, we charge you 50% less for our broker services than local agents would.

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What happens if a tenant moves out?

First of all, that’s a reason to celebrate. A new rental agreement means a significant capital gain, at times twice as much in profit. You can look for a new tenant and collect the maximum applicable rent or, if you wish, consider selling the property. Due to shortage in empty apartments its selling price would be about 30% more than that of an occupied apartment.

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