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Where to look There are three major internet portals, Immobilienscout24, Immowelt and Immonet. These are the sites most apartment-seekers use for their apartment hunting. If you are a student, you could also try WG-Gesucht, which mainly lists rooms in shared flats, but also has a few listings for rental apartments. While these sites are all well established and heavily frequented, fewer people tend to be aware that Ebay’s small ads site …

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Germany’s Constitutional Court recently ruled that the country’s property tax system needs an overhaul. Replacing the existing system is going to be complicated – and expensive. When the Federal Constitutional Court finally spoke, its verdict didn’t really surprise anyone. After all, it has been clear for years that Germany’s property tax system needs an overhaul. Almost as soon as the verdict was announced, market observers and experts quickly dusted off …

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2018 off to a flying start As expected, the German commercial investment market delivered a strong start to 2018. In Germany’s Top Seven cities of Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne, Düsseldorf and Stuttgart, all of the major brokerage houses reported transaction volumes of between EUR 11.8 billion and EUR 12.3 billion in the first quarter of 2018.   Office rules the roost According to BNPPRE, Colliers, JLL and CBRE, more than 50% of investment …

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If you are planning a new property development in Germany any time soon, brace yourself: Construction costs are rising faster than at any point since the financial crisis. The cost of constructing a standard residential building was 4.0 percent higher in February 2018 than just 12 months earlier. According to Federal Statistical Office, this was the highest increase in construction prices since November 2007, when prices rose by 5.8 percent. So, …

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Almost six months will have passed between Germany’s parliamentary elections on 24.09.2017 and the results of the SPD’s members’ poll on 04.03.2018 – six long months that have included the collapse of talks to form a Jamaica coalition (between the CDU/CSU, the liberal FDP and the Greens) and a complete U-turn from the SPD, which quickly abandoned its opposition to another Grand Coalition (GroKo). Now, with the potential GroKo partners …

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For Germany’s students, the first of October marked the start of the 2017 winter semester. And for first-year students in particular, this is supposed to be an exciting new beginning; the moment they finally embark on the first stage of their journey into adult life. Unfortunately, rather than representing the start of a new adventure, for many the reality has been quite different, and stressful – all thanks to the …

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How will new technologies change the German real estate landscape? What impact are new, primarily digital, technologies already having? If you’ve ever asked yourself these, or similar, questions, then a new study, “Smart, Smarter, Real Estate”, which has just been published by EY Real Estate and ZIA certainly makes for interesting reading. We’ve put together a summary of the study’s key findings, so read on to see how digitalisation within …

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On September 24, 2017: Germany decides   With the last Sunday in September fast approaching and election campaigning reaching fever pitch, Germany’s political parties are busily jockeying for position. It seems highly likely that Angela Merkel will continue as Chancellor, but another coalition government is definitely on the cards. Will the current Grand Coalition of Union (CDU/CSU) and SPD receive a new mandate, or will the FDP win enough votes …

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Union Investment and the German Tech Entrepreneurship Center (GTEC) have just crowned the most innovative PropTech companies in the world. The competition received more than 200 entrants from 46 countries, and the biggest winners are start-ups in the German capital, Berlin. The PropTech Innovation Award was initiated by Union Investment and the German Tech Entrepreneurship Center (GTEC) as a way to celebrate, nurture and reward the most groundbreaking property technology …

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The Mietpreisbremse – literally the rental price brake – was introduced in Berlin in June 2015. Politicians hoped that the legislation would slow the rate at which rents were rising by limiting property owners’ freedoms to raise rents. In actual fact, rents are now generally increasing faster than ever.   According to a recent study from the Cologne Institute for Economic Research (IW), rents for apartments in Germany’s major cities are now rising …

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For anyone interested in the German real estate market, Spring is a key time of year. A flood of major surveys, reports and market studies are released every year in February, March and April – with a raft of data, information and forecasts all related to the German real estate market. So, if you want to gain a better understanding of market developments in Germany, now is the time. Read …

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Style is always important to our clients, who operate in a range of different business fields – e.g. real estate, energy, public relations and science and technology – and regularly produce texts, whether business-to-business or business-to-consumer brochures, press releases, blog articles or newsletters, that include frequent references to business developments, economic trends, studies and market research. These texts all have at least one thing in common – they are full of numbers, percentages, …

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Continuing our series of language-related blog posts, we have decided to focus on one of our favourite German verbs – vermitteln. Read on to find out why we love this verb and to see why it enriches the life of a German to English translator so much.   vermitteln – Origins This verb may have evolved over time to signify a fairly wide range of meanings, and have amassed a …

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Proptech is the umbrella term used to classify the property-related technologies, whether hardware or software, designed to serve landlords, property managers, portfolio owners and tenants. It’s a sure fire bet that technology will have a considerable impact on the way real estate professionals work in 2016.  Read on to find out about some of the key functions Proptech is already delivering and our predictions of what it could deliver in the near …

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It’s not actually that easy to select our favourite translation projects 2015. One of the best things about life as translators is that, alongside our specialisation in texts on financial, real estate and general business topics, we also have the pleasure of working on texts from a range of genres and with a varied range of subject matter. At this time of year, as 2015 draws to an end, we thought …

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 The supply of housing (or, more appropriately, lack of supply) has been making headlines in both Germany and the UK this autumn. Property prices and rents seem to be increasing everywhere you look, and demand has been outstripping supply for some time. Well, now there is some good news, at least as far as Germany’s capital is concerned.   Housing: the good news There is a clear increase in housing …

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EnEV, Germany’s Energy Saving Ordinance, is something that everyone in Germany’s real estate industry is familiar with. After all, around 25% of the country’s carbon emissions come from residential and office buildings. For non-German speakers it’s not always easy to understand the Energy Saving Ordinance, which is why we’ve put together an outline of how these important regulations have evolved over the years and an insight into what changes are on their …

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Project development – tax breaks planned Project development is crucial if Germany is to get to grips with its housing crisis. There  was a very interesting article in Spiegel Online on 26.11.2015 outlining plans being floated by Germany’s coalition government, namely via the CDU’s “iron-fisted” finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble, to help relieve the pressures on housing in many of the country’s major cities. Read on to find out what the coalition …

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Urban development is back on the agenda in a big way in Germany. Faced with a shortage of affordable housing, a lack of accommodation for large numbers of refugees arriving this year (and set to arrive next year) and a rise in the number of individual households, it’s clear that there is a desperate need for new residential real estate. The way people work and shop is also changing, and …

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 The new Bundesmeldegesetz (Federal Citizens’ Registration Act) came into force on 01.11.2015 and it looks like many of Germany’s tenants and landlords are not quite up-to-speed on their obligations under this new piece of legislation. German lawmakers seem to be among the most effective in the world at increasing red tape and adding to the burden of both the country’s businesses and ordinary citizens—and this is no exception. Read on …

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 Why are there so few skyscrapers in Berlin? When you think of cities with magnificent, impressive or breathtaking skylines, Berlin is not going to be one of the first cities to spring to mind. In fact, it’s probably not going to feature anywhere on your list because, despite all of the things the city does very well, skyscrapers are not really a feature of the city’s built environment. Sure, there …

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Observing the impact of the refugee crisis on Germany’s housing market over the last few days has certainly been interesting. Alongside the usual studies, reports and comment pieces on the continual onward march of rents and property prices (both still rising, although not to the same extent as recent months/years), the shortage of affordable housing, increases in the number of pipeline projects and building permits issued, etc., there have been …

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Germany may have Europe’s biggest economy and the EU’s largest population, but as far as the country’s listed real estate sector is concerned things have only recently begun to get really interesting. This week, on 21.09.2015, Vonovia (formerly Deutsche Annington) became the first listed real estate company to be promoted to the blue-chip DAX index. How has the sector reacted? What does this signal for Vonovia’s competitors? Is this the beginning …

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There has been considerable hype recently in connection with what is being marketed as a revolutionary new source of funding for real estate projects — crowdfunding. Who are the companies that have entered the market, what’s in it for investors and developers, and how does crowd investment compare with more traditional forms of real estate investment?   You’ve got to be in it to win it One major hurdle for …

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I will never understand how often the most basic translation mistakes make it through the review process and end up being published. How do we feel when we read something peppered with the most basic errors? What kind of impression does this create for a company’s prospective clients, partners or employees? Why do some companies not seem to take anywhere near the same level of care in sourcing translated texts as they do with crafting …

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What does it say about our views of the world when British english speakers talk about “bricks and mortar” when referring to housing and other buildings, whereas their German counterparts are more likely to talk about Betongold (literally, “concrete gold)? How do these two differing views, one highlighting unspectacular solidity and functionality, the other highlighting the value of property as a secure investment, match up with the real world? After …

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Bestellerprinzip and Mietpreisbremse: Germany’s tenancy law reforms, the Grand Coalition’s Mietrechtsnovellierungsgesetz (MietNovG), came into force on 01.06.2015 and brought a number of major changes, and a major dose of uncertainty, with them. We’ve already looked at one of the biggest reforms, the Mietpreisbremse, which has given local authorities the power to impose rental controls in neighbourhoods with “overheated” housing markets. The second major reform, and one that is starting to …

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Berlin real estate – a planned economy   Anyone who has ever read any reports on Germany’s property markets will know that the real estate economy in the country is broken down into a number of sub-sectors, both in terms of geography and property types. Given the country’s federal structure, with 16 individual states and city states, there is not a single, dominant property market in the way that …

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As far as housing is concerned, and as mentioned in a previous blog post, Germany can be seen pretty much as a nation of tenants rather than owner-occupiers. In major cities such as Berlin and Munich, between 75-85% of the population currently live in rented apartments, which means that only 15-25% are homeowners—extremely low figures when compared to the situation in other European countries. Similar, but different Why do such …

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Mietminderung (the right to withhold all or part of your monthly rent payment) was one of the first words that sprang to mind as I read this article, part of the Guardian’s series on “Generation Rent,” on my way to work this morning.   High rents + poor housing = frustration   It seems that lots of tenants are not only complaining about the high cost of renting an apartment …

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Grunderwerbsteuer  is Germany’s tax on the transfer of real property (equivalent to stamp duty in the UK). Whether you are a developer buying land earmarked for construction, a potential owner-occupier considering a condominium or an investor on the market for a property portfolio, all transactions involving land and property will be subject to Grunderwerbsteuer. Read on to find out more about the tax, how it is levied and how to reduce the amount …

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Anyone who has taken a stroll along Berlin’s Kurfürstendamm will have come across a number of landmark buildings, both old and new (and often a combination of the two). From the Filmbühne Wien, now home to Apple’s flagship Berlin store, to the Mendelsohn Building at Lehniner Platz, home to the Schaubühne Theatre, with hundreds of the city’s characteristic, pre-1918 Altbaus in between. One such striking building is Haus Cumberland, at …

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Everyone knows it: Berlin is “in”, tolerant, affordable—and growing. Monocle magazine just ranked the city as the third most “liveable” city in the world, citing the openness of the German capital’s population, the interesting mix of independent and high-street shops, lively and varied nightlife, low crime rate, expansive green spaces, conducive business environment and (relatively) affordable housing.   Where to look Finding an apartment to rent or buy in Berlin …

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Milieuschutz—necessary intervention or a step too far? In this third article on the German housing market, we’re moving on to the third currently hot “M” in the German residential real estate industry – Milieuschutz. Unlike the Mietpreisbremse (a product of Germany’s current coalition government), protecting the character, identity and social mix of a neighbourhood via Milieuschutz goes back more than 40 years to the early 1970s.   Restricting the market …

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Mietpreisbremse—putting the brakes on In this second article on the German housing market, we’re going to examine the recent Mietpreisbremse (rental control/cap, literally “rental brake”) legislation and see how it ties in with the Mietspiegel from part one. If you are an investor, landlord or tenant in one of Germany’s major cities, you are probably going to feel the impact of this new law sooner, rather than later. As …

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The Mietspiegel—A funhouse mirror? There is a great deal of interest in Germany’s housing markets from overseas’ investors and there are a large number of non-German speakers living in the country, particularly in major cities such as Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt and Hamburg. Germans have a long-standing preference for living in rented apartments rather than buying property—although this might change slightly thanks to low interest rates and steadily increasing rents. In …

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