City on the rise
Jump into the Berlin property market now, while you still can, says Eleanor Doughty
It’s best to compare Berlin, says sven Henkes, managing director of Knight Frank’s associate office, Ziegart, to an elevator on the rise. ‘some people joined years ago, on the minus levels, and now we’ve reached the ground floor. Now is the best time to jump into the elevator, while it’s going up.’ Oliver Blum, managing director of luxury estate agency John taylor, agrees: ‘Berlin is booming!’
Like any capital city, Berlin has its good and bad neighbourhoods. the best include Charlottenburg, Berlin’s Mayfair, which contains the Kurfürstendamm, the German equivalent of the Champs-élysées, lined with boutiques and five-star hotels. the architecture is also varied, with a mixture of old and new, says Mr Henkes, but ‘the most charming buildings are from the beginning of the 20th century’.
House prices are lower than in London. ‘We have very good properties for €7,000 or €8,000 per square metre,’ says Mr Blum, but high-end naturally attracts high values. ‘If you want to be in the best street with a new development, you can pay €15,000 per sq m,’ he adds. Buyers come not just for the expatriate life, but in search of a home from home. ‘English people like to have a second home here, because it’s just a 1½-hour flight away,’ says Monika Baier, real-estate associate at sotheby’s International Realty. ‘Even before Brexit, the English were buying property in Berlin.’
Mr Blum agrees. ‘the super-rich have discovered this city,’ but what they’re buying varies. ‘the Italian client, for example, is looking for the old, historic building or a flat in a historic building in Charlottenburg. the client from seoul is looking for a skyscraper with a concierge.’
Both Brexit and the election of Donald trump are luring start-up businesses to the Continent, Mr Blum adds. ‘If you have to choose between LA and Berlin, I think Berlin wins the race.’
‘English people like to have a second home here, because it’s just a 1½-hour flight