City on the rise

Jump into the Berlin prop­erty mar­ket now, while you still can, says Eleanor Doughty

Country Life Every Week - - Berlin -

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

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