Real Estate

25 March 2014

Berlin Rising 

Berlin, a stage for some of the most momentous events of the 20th century, is becoming a real estate hot spot in the 21st.

Districts that saw a rise and fall during World War II and the construction of the Berlin Wall are today attracting fast-growing startups and commercial ventures. A combination of the city’s historical appeal and a young, media-savvy population has begun to attract serious attention among real estate investors.

For example, a developer is creating a technology hub called The Factory in a building that became part of the Berlin Wall. Until recently, the Mitte district of central Berlin still had abandoned lots and vacant buildings that were leftovers of darker times.

Now investors are keen to rescue the decrepit ruins of a department store in the district that squatters called home for 20 years. Luxury apartments will soon occupy a former post office.

Industry watchers have noted that Berlin’s strong economy and hi-tech base are boosting demand for commercial office space, while retail property rents are rising quickly.

A report from PwC and the Urban Land Institute says the Berlin-Brandenburg region was Europe’s third most active real estate market over the first three quarters of 2013, trailing only London and Paris. The report also ranked three German cities among the top four European cities for real estate with Munich first, Hamburg third and Berlin fourth.

Destroyed by war and divided by political rivalry in the past century, Berlin has emerged stronger than ever as a center of European culture and commerce. It’s only natural that real estate investors want to be a part of the city’s renaissance.