House music: No strict special rule for piano players

If only making music is restricted in the house rules, but not other noisy activities, this is not permitted. This is how the district court of Frankfurt am Main ruled (Az. 2-13 S 131/16).

A dispute goes through two instances

A homeowners' association changed the quiet times in the house rules by majority vote as follows: "Music and piano playing time is limited to two hours a day." In addition, music can only be played until 7 p.m. on weekdays, and until 5 p.m. on Saturdays. A pianist and piano teacher living in the house did not want to accept this and complained. In the second instance she was right.

Unequal treatment of individual noise sources is not permitted

It is inadmissible to limit making music and playing the piano more than other sources of noise. According to the house rules, the extended quiet times from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. apply to them – regardless of the day of the week. As a result, individual disruptors would be preferred over others without any objective reason. Such unequal treatment of individual noise sources is not permissible. The Federal Court of Justice (Az. V ZB 11/98) has already ruled in this way.



Reduce rent: If the elevator in the house is broken

A reader asks: I live on the second floor. The elevator is broken. How much less rent do I have to pay now?

Finanztest answers: The amount of the reduction will probably be between 1 and 5 percent of your gross rent (rent plus operating costs). What is particularly important is the floor on which your apartment is located. The law does not specify any specific amounts. It only says in general that the rent is reduced by a "reasonable" amount if there is a shortage of housing. Old judgments can provide orientation. In 2014, for example, the Berlin District Court of Tempelhof-Kreuzberg decided that a tenant on the second floor could reduce the monthly rent by 3 percent if the elevator (Az. 2 C 207/13) was defective for a whole month.

The amount of the reduction increases the higher the apartment is. The Berlin-Mitte olymp trade apk download for android district court granted a tenant on the sixth floor a reduction of 15 percent per month (Az. 10 C 3/07).

Personal circumstances are irrelevant: You must not cut more because, as a severely disabled person, you need the elevator more urgently than others. But the principle also means that you can also make cuts if the elevator breaks down during your vacation.

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Forecast and development of the real estate market in Germany 2016

High rent? Low interest rates on construction loans? How will the German real estate market develop in 2016? What can renters expect? What can real estate buyers expect? A prognosis.

The year has only just begun and the first developments on the German real estate market for 2016 can already be seen:

According to industry estimates, there is no end in sight to the price spiral. Real estate experts believe that rents will continue to rise in 2016.

There is a lack of living space

The reasons are obvious: The demand for apartments is constantly increasing, especially in large cities and metropolitan areas. However, the supply of living space is not increasing to the same extent.

The keyword is urbanization: more and more people are being drawn to the cities. Internal migration is intensified by increasing immigration from abroad. Therefore, many large and university towns are faced with the challenge of how to cope with the population growth, which is actually encouraging. The high demand for housing with limited supply means that rents are already rising sharply. For many big city dwellers, the continuously rising rent increases are hardly affordable.

Rent control can only partially regulate rising rents

Unfortunately, the rental price brake introduced in June does not remedy this problem either. Because this only regulates that in designated areas only ten percent above the local comparative rent may be charged. The tenants' association is therefore calling for a nationwide price brake. Because the previous one ensures a certain inequality.

The housing companies see a similar development: They also do not expect any major relaxation in rents for the coming year. 800,000 homes are now missing. As a result, you will have to spend a lot of money on a bad apartment in the future.

Build tall instead of wide

An obvious solution with which the problem described could at least be alleviated is the following: When building houses in the future, buildings should be built higher than before. Because with each additional floor, the living space created increases without more building land being required. On the other hand, significantly smaller units can be built instead of the relatively generously proportioned apartments that are usual in Germany. This not only increases the number of apartments with the same building size, but also the rent for the individual apartments is cheaper due to the smaller area.

The tenants' association has another piece of good news in terms of additional costs. So no higher heating costs are to be expected in the bill for the past year.

Discussions about the allocation of modernization costs
One controversial topic in 2016, however, will be the allocation of modernization costs. Because Minister of Justice Heiko Maas (SPD) wants to reduce the previous levy from eleven to eight percent. However, the tenants' association demands that the landlord pass on only six percent of the modernization costs to the tenant.

On the other hand, there is a positive development in rent debts. These show a decline. While they will not go to zero, they will continue to decrease.


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Company housing against a shortage of skilled workers and housing shortages

The so-called company apartments have been considered a dying real estate model in Germany in the recent past. Administrative costs that are too high with little return - these arguments have prompted large companies to part with company-owned apartments in the past decade. However , this trend now seems to be going in the opposite direction, especially in the conurbations of the large metropolises. For example, the city of Munich is investing more in company housing, which benefits both the housing market and the companies themselves.


Munich is building new company housing

Company apartments have enjoyed declining popularity in the recent past. According to an expert study on residential real estate commissioned by HSH Nordbank, the number of company apartments recently fell to 340,000 units nationwide. Many companies are skeptical about the construction of new company-owned employee accommodation. However, there is a turnaround in the metropolitan areas of the major cities. For example, Stadtwerke München is investing around 80 million euros in the construction of new company housing. By 2020, the utility company wants to have a total of 500 new employee apartments in the Bavarian state capital. With these, the group wants to bring new specialists to Munich. Because the high rents and the general shortage of housing reduce the attractiveness of Munich as a place to live and work.


VW revitalizes housing program

The Volkswagen Group has also recognized that the creation of living space plays a significant role in recruiting and retaining employees. In order to remain interesting as an important employer in Lower Saxony, VW wants to build around 500 new employee apartments at its headquarters in Wolfsburg over the next five years. In addition, the real estate subsidiary of the automotive group, which has been in existence for 60 years, spent almost 110 million euros on the modernization and renovation of the existing 9,500 company apartments. VW wants to invest a further 25 million euros a year in maintaining them. Around a third of these apartments are currently occupied by Group employees, the rest are rented on the open market.

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Rent should also be affordable in the future

The CDU/CSU and SPD recently agreed on this. The draft law is available – now it will be negotiated on November 7th, 2014. It's about the "rent brake"! So far there have been no regulations on the amount of rent when a new lease is concluded, this is about to change.

What does the rental price brake do?

The rental price brake would put a stop to the uncontrolled increase in rents, especially in “tense housing markets” such as Munich, Stuttgart, Cologne, Frankfurt and Hamburg. Where drastic rent increases of 20, 30 or 40 percent were the order of the day, only 10 percent above the usual local rent index are now permitted. If the rent has already been above this rate, grandfathering applies.

Who is being "slowed down"?

An amendment to the tenancy law of the BGB makes it possible: The 10 percent rule applies to the re-letting of existing apartments , but not to new buildings that are rented for the first time from October 1st, 2014 and apartments that have been extensively modernized. This should also ensure that investments in the housing market remain attractive.

Until then, there is still a lot to do

For example, the state government should define the areas in which the limit applies by December 31, 2020. At the same time, it is also still unclear what the criteria for “extensive modernization” look like. It is currently assumed that the modernization work would have to amount to at least a third of the new building in the same location.

Further relief for tenants

In total, more than 850 million euros are to be saved annually through the rental price brake and the "orderer principle" - namely on the brokerage fee! Changes are planned in the commissioning of a broker and housing brokerage. If the brokerage fee was usually borne by the new tenant, the owner should now bear the costs. The principle "whoever orders, pays!" applies.

Nevertheless, it is feared that owners will increase rents before the imminent change in the law in order to compensate for brokerage costs.

When will the changes take effect?

The new laws are scheduled to come into force in the first half of 2015. However, these will only take effect once the federal states have designated the corresponding areas with increased housing needs.

A lawsuit against the new regulations by owner associations is likely. The law is accused of massive interference with property rights.

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Federal states check the legal situation - expropriation allowed! When the state is allowed to impose refugees on landlords

Many municipalities are overwhelmed by the influx of refugees to Germany. They must provide accommodation within a very short time. The initial reception centers are reaching their limits, many shelters have long been full - and in many places there are no longer any public spaces that would be suitable for accommodating refugees.

According to information from FOCUS Online, two federal states have now submitted test applications to the federal government. They want to know whether there is a legal basis for forcibly renting vacant privately owned properties. The information does not indicate which countries are involved.

What is the legal situation?

However, there are some indications that North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate in particular are under great pressure. Their heads of government emphasize in interviews that their municipalities are already at the limit. However, both countries did not want to comment on the current situation when asked.

"If there is no other option, the authorities may temporarily confiscate buildings," says Gerold Hape from the Haus & Grund owners' association. This is regulated in the Police and Regulatory Authorities Act. “It refers to homeless people who the municipalities have to provide housing for security reasons.”

In extreme cases, the federal states could also invoke it. "When all options have already been exhausted, that's an option," says Hape. Compensation would be paid to the landlords based on the usual market rents.

“Commitment must not be stifled”

The Haus & Grund owners' association nevertheless categorically rejects the measure. “Offering adequate housing to the many refugees seeking protection in Germany is a major challenge. We want to tackle this together with the municipalities and continue to rely on voluntariness," emphasized Kai Warnecke, Managing Director of Haus & Grund Germany. "This commitment must not be stifled by threatening coercive measures," says Warnecke.

It is unlikely that there will actually be forced rentals and expropriations, although some federal states are examining these possibilities, the press spokesman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior reassured FOCUS Online. The federal government can make more properties available and have set up “a kind of crisis management team”.

The first forced rentals have already taken place

"We are in close contact with the countries," the spokesman continued. At the same time, the federal government is discussing whether it should increase the financial aid of three billion euros promised by the coalition.

However, some cities have already made use of the legal option. In January 2015, a Kolping Society building in Arnsberg was temporarily confiscated to house refugees. In the city of Olpe, a former family hotel was hit. In Berlin, the Senate confiscated the former headquarters of the Berliner Sparkasse on Bundesallee in Wilmersdorf. It is to be used as an initial reception point. In Baden-Württemberg's Main-Tauber district, the district office also took over a barracks building by way of a statutory resolution.

Readers reject compulsory rental

The majority of FOCUS Online readers categorically reject forced rentals and expropriations. Evelyn Bornemann comments: "I don't agree with that. When there are no more shelters, you have to end it and not take in more people.”

Patrick Stöcker writes: “The property was taxed when it was purchased and I still pay real estate transfer tax today. But perhaps the state would like to buy my property from me in order to have the right to decide in the future who will use the property.”

However, there are also readers who view compulsory renting positively: "Actually, this can only be in the interest of the landlord: Your vacant property is brokered and the state pays the rent. Still better than having a tenant who delays paying the rent,” says Peter Müller.

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Effect of the rental price brake in Hamburg

The rental price brake seems to be having its first successes in Hamburg. At the beginning of July, the rental price brake was introduced in Hamburg. This means that landlords have to orientate themselves to the usual local comparative rents when renting out a new property.

The rental price brake is very controversial in all federal states. Owners' associations in particular spoke out strictly against their introduction. Therefore, their effectiveness is critically analyzed shortly after their introduction. The online portal Immobilienscout24 already wants to see significant changes in rents for Hamburg. From June to July, average asking rents fell from EUR 10.48 to EUR 10.12. This corresponds to a minus of 3.44 percent. Since the decline coincides with the introduction of the rental price brake, those responsible for the online real estate portal see a connection. However, this could be a seasonal effect, since comparatively lower rents were also recorded in some summer months in the previous year.

In Berlin, too, there has been a decline in average asking rents since the introduction of the rent control. The cap was introduced here in June . From May to June there was a significant drop from EUR 8.80 to EUR 8.53. In July, rents fell again slightly. There were no such strong downward deviations in Hamburg or Berlin this year. The rental price brake was also introduced in some cities in North Rhine-Westphalia in July. So far, however, no significant changes in rents have been identified. However, the portal admits that there is significantly less data for these cities.


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Rent versus rate – tenant or buyer type

Hamburg (ots) – Most Germans move into their first apartment or room in a shared flat when they start their training or studies. After a few years of professional development, the question arises whether to continue renting or to buy a property. Both have advantages and disadvantages, and the construction financing portal explains below whether someone is more of a tenant or a buyer.

Typical tenants are often independent, like it flexible and make the same demands on their home. The advantages of a rented apartment are obvious: it can be terminated and changed at any time. In addition, the amount of the rent is relatively regulated, it can only be increased to a limited extent and at certain intervals. Likewise, the tenant is only slightly involved in maintenance costs or repairs and the additional costs are manageable. However, the rental prices also depend on where you live. The square meter in Hamburg, as an example for a metropolitan area, costs 12.25 euros. On the other hand, in Buxtehude, outside the metropolitan area, renters only pay 8.35 euros*.

Interested parties who decide to buy a property often want security and have something of their own. "Here it is important that future homeowners contribute sufficient equity to the construction project, which automatically reduces the term," advises Stephan Scharfenorth, Managing Director of the construction financing portal ( Thus, future homeowners have to raise a lot of money right from the start in order to make their dream come true. In addition, regular costs such as additional costs or unplanned expenses for maintenance, taxes and any repairs are added over the years. "The same applies to real estate prices, in metropolitan areas the customer pays more for the same property than outside of these," points out Scharfenorth.

The first steps, especially when it comes to real estate financing, are worth considering. Because rent is not to be equated with the monthly installment payment. Customers who have paid 800 euros a month rent and now want to estimate this as a discount can afford a loan of 120,000 euros with an interest rate of 1.43 percent, a fixed interest period of 10 years and a repayment of 2 percent. However, this is often not enough and as soon as the fixed interest rate expires, the cards are reshuffled. “I advise every borrower to set the repayment as high as possible and also to be prepared for a possible interest rate increase. Only then is real estate fun,” says Scharfenorth. The benefits of renting come when the loan is paid off and this should happen relatively quickly. As for all customers, monthly installments from interest,

About Baufi24

With more than three million visitors per year, is one of the best-known web portals for private construction financing. Future homeowners are provided with extensive information on the subject of mortgage lending and real estate purchase/construction. In its service portfolio, the company compares offers from more than 300 banks. More than 1,000 certified consultants are available to customers in a partner network with advice and expertise. Further information at


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Company contact: Baufi24 GmbH Stephan Scharfenorth, Tel. +49 (0) 
800 808 4000 Email:
Press contact: Hasenclever Strategy, Walter Hasenclever, Tel: +49 421
42 76 37 39, mobile: +49 171 493 57 83, e-mail:
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Guide to Selling a House (VI) – With these twelve tips you will definitely sell your house

Color, flowers, order: the first impression counts, the last one stays. FOCUS Online gives twelve tips on how owners can put their house in the right light - with a lot of calculation and little cost.

Nobody knows the house better than you. Why shouldn't you show prospects through the house?! This can, but does not always have to be a good idea. Owners are often far too enthusiastic about their property to answer sober questions about the condition of the roof, the quality of the heating or conversion options in a matter-of-fact and confident manner.

Oak fittings, terracotta tiles, Jura stone stairs, gold-curved door handles - what you like doesn't always meet with approval. And it doesn't have to. The only thing that matters is that the house finds a solvent buyer.

The professional knows how to do it

Therefore, it may be better for sensitive owners to hand over the inspection to a professional. A good agent knows what buyers want, what floor plan they have in mind and starts the right mental cinema during the viewing: "I would break through this wall, then you have a spacious living-dining area" or "Here you have plenty of space for Your low boards and home theater…”

If you open your doors to prospective buyers, you have to switch to sales mode. It is important to present the house in the best possible way without, of course, concealing the defects.


Skilfully staged

"Home staging" is the name of a trend from the USA, England and Scandinavia, which perfects the art of staging. Whether flowers, pictures or bathroom accessories: interior decorators conjure up dream homes - depending on the client's budget. Her tricks are no longer a secret. Tidying up, repairing, decorating – true beauty can be conjured up from tired walls with the simplest of tools.

This is how you let your house shine

  • Beautify the outside . Walk out the door and look at the driveway, the front yard, the entrance area. It's the first thing prospects see. Does the property look inviting? If not, get on with it: cut back bushes, weed beds, fertilize lawns, remove moss, paint fences, clean doors, house numbers and mailboxes, remove rubbish, tidy up and make room. Keep in mind that many interested parties look at objects from the outside and judge the interior of the house from the external impression. Ugh on the outside, hui on the inside – buyers don’t think like that. Anything visible from the street should be beautiful to look at. Quite a few infer from well-kept gardens to a well-kept interior.
  • create free space. Get rid of useless things, create space - also in the basement, in the attic and in the garage. Clutter makes rooms appear smaller. But buyers are looking for the largest space at the lowest price. Better to empty gloomy, cluttered rooms. Better to present it empty than ugly!
  • big cleaning. Pay attention to cleanliness. Entrance, kitchen and bathroom should shine. Cleaning windows, removing cobwebs, dusting – interested parties take a closer look than the mother-in-law and deduce the building structure from the filth.


  • Repair. Stuck doors, defective exterior lights, missing baseboards: often it is just your own convenience that delays overdue minor repairs. Stop it! Write and process a list. Keep an eye on the costs: an old house is old, it will not be a new building. Clever salespeople calculate the sum of all minor repairs. 2000 euros can be a good investment if the purchase price is 5000 euros higher.
  • Cancel. When rooms deserve a lick of paint, look to light, neutral colors. Bright colors are not to everyone's taste. Beware of mold and damp spots. Whitewashing brings nothing but subsequent trouble.
  • use light. Bright rooms appear larger. Make sure that viewing appointments are made in daylight - not at dusk or in the dark. Open the blinds, push the curtains aside (clean windows, window frames and benches!). Set lamps and light accents - especially with small windows.
  • Away with personal things. Put away personal items, family photos, knick-knacks. Show your house as neutral and timeless as possible. Watch out for the bathrooms (put away toothbrushes, razors or bobby pins). Put the laundry in the closet.
  • Decoration. Flowers on the dining table, a beautiful bowl in front of the front door: Use a few, but selected plants for decoration. Pay attention to a few but harmonious accessories: new towels to match the bath rug, subtle pictures, lanterns in dark corners. Don't underestimate the soft factors when buying a property. Realtors know who to impress when they view a home: when it comes to couples, in most cases it is the woman who decides whether the house is shortlisted. If she doesn't like it, the deal usually doesn't work out.
  • airing Before the first prospect rings the doorbell, the house should smell pleasant and fresh. Musty rooms or the smell of goulash from lunchtime are not inviting. Be careful with room perfumes: They don't meet everyone's taste and can be more disturbing than beguiling.
  • apparition. Not only your house should show its most beautiful side. Don't forget yourself.


More than 20 times the annual rent - real estate market 2015: The good locations are all gone

The German real estate market is overheated. This is the result of the Immobilien Investment Club (IIC) based in Dresden. According to his evaluations, the purchase prices in many large cities have in some cases far exceeded the level of 20 annual rents. This not only applies to the top 7 cities of Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Leipzig, Frankfurt and Stuttgart, but also to some university cities such as Münster, Heidelberg and Freiburg.

"We don't have a real estate bubble, but we have reached a temporary high in real estate prices due to the economy and interest rates," says Olaf Wortmann, spokesman for the IIC. "The market will decide in the next few months whether this will result in a bubble or whether there is still a catch-up effect compared to other international real estate markets."

Top locations grazed

Because the supply in the top locations has largely been exhausted, investors in 2015 will have the best return prospects in the so-called B and C locations. "Despite the inferior location quality, interesting deals can certainly be concluded here in 2015," says Wortmann. For example, if sellers are under pressure, the properties are burdened with rental problems or minor refurbishment work is necessary, but the quality of the property is high, cutbacks in the location can certainly justify an investment. "But it is much more important to assess the individual location, to examine it intensively and to analyze it," advises Wortmann.

The charm is often only revealed at second glance

"But if you use the right purchasing sources, you will find properties for less than ten times the annual rent in the next twelve months," believes the IIC spokesman. Sometimes worthwhile investments can also be found on the market, which only become a worthwhile product at “second or third glance” through active management by the individual investor.

Not only the purchase price is decisive, but also points such as the optimization potential.

According to the IIC, large investors are concentrating on “larger units with smaller apartments of one to two rooms” in larger cities, city locations and university locations. In smaller cities or in a more family-oriented environment, smaller units with six to a maximum of 20 apartments and larger are more likely Apartments with three to four rooms in demand.


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Rent should also be affordable in the future

The CDU/CSU and SPD recently agreed on this. The draft law is available – now it will be negotiated on November 7th, 2014. It's about the " rental price brake "! So far there have been no regulations on the amount of rent when a new lease is concluded, this is about to change.

What does the rental price brake do?

The rental price brake would put a stop to the uncontrolled increase in rents, especially in “tense housing markets” such as Munich, Stuttgart, Cologne, Frankfurt and Hamburg. Where drastic rent increases of 20, 30 or 40 percent were the order of the day, only 10 percent above the usual local rent index are now permitted. If the rent has already been above this rate, grandfathering applies.

Who is being "slowed down"?

An amendment to the tenancy law of the BGB makes it possible: The 10 percent rule applies to the re-letting of existing apartments, but not to new buildings that are rented for the first time from October 1st, 2014 and apartments that have been extensively modernized. This should also ensure that investments in the housing market remain attractive.

Until then, there is still a lot to do

For example, the state government should define the areas in which the limit applies by December 31, 2020. At the same time, it is also still unclear what the criteria for “extensive modernization” look like. It is currently assumed that the modernization work would have to amount to at least a third of the new building in the same location.

Further relief for tenants

In total, more than 850 million euros are to be saved annually through the rental price brake and the "orderer principle" - namely on the brokerage fee! Changes are planned in the commissioning of a broker and housing brokerage. If the brokerage fee was usually borne by the new tenant, the owner should now bear the costs. The principle "whoever orders, pays!" applies.

Nevertheless, it is feared that owners will increase rents before the imminent change in the law in order to compensate for brokerage costs.

When will the changes take effect?

The new laws are scheduled to come into force in the first half of 2015. However, these will only take effect once the federal states have designated the corresponding areas with increased housing needs.

A lawsuit against the new regulations by owner associations is likely. The law is accused of massive interference with property rights.


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Housing: the then-today comparison

Not only is there a real shortage of living space in Germany today, people were also struggling with similar problems more than 100 years ago: At that time, about every third tenant in Berlin moved again after a year at the latest, because the workers, especially during the industrialization of the late 19th century. lived in insecure conditions for centuries. During this time, the cities grew so rapidly that there was a lack of living space everywhere - owning property was unthinkable at the time. For the people, the only option was renting.

As a result of this need, a strong tradition of renting developed in the cities, which still characterizes living behavior in Germany today. Every second person in Germany still lives for rent. If you compare this result internationally, it can be seen that this is a high proportion. In southern Europe, on the other hand, three quarters of the apartments are privately owned.

1920s: "Golden Age of Housing Policy"

But not only was there a lack of sufficient living space during industrialization, but the housing shortage was still great after the First World War. At that time, numerous initiatives arose thanks to the democratic organization of the state. To this day, the 1920s are considered the “golden age” of housing policy. During this time, new settlement forms were developed in which ideas of better houses were to be realized: light, air and sun were to determine residential architecture from then on.

New financing concepts were also implemented at this time in order to be able to build the major projects. As a result, there were already 4,000 cooperatives in Germany by the mid-1920s. They often built new settlements without government support, since they were based on the idea of ​​non-profit.

Reconstruction in East and West

Over 500,000 apartments were completed in Germany at the beginning of the 1950s. The majority of these were built as part of publicly subsidized housing construction. However, after the division of Germany, housing policy developed in opposite directions in the two German states:

In the GDR, residential and urban construction was defined as part of the state planned economy. At that time, apartments were only available by allocation.
While property owners were expropriated in the GDR, private property was given absolute priority in housing policy in the FRG.

Since industrialization, solutions to the housing shortage have been a high-ranking socio-political issue that is still the subject of controversial discussion today. Because when it comes to housing, it is always primarily about the extent to which politics intervenes in the housing market.

Today's life in the big cities

Even today, more and more people are being drawn to the economically strong cities: According to the Federal Statistical Office, the proportion of one-person households has doubled from 20 to 40 percent in recent years. Accordingly, there is also a lack of sufficient living space!

According to the calculations of the German Tenants' Association (DMB), an estimated 250,000 apartments are needed in the metropolitan areas today

On the other hand, in other regions of Germany, for example in cities such as Essen, Bochum or Chemnitz and Leipzig, apartments are empty because the number of inhabitants is falling.


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Moving to Berlin with the family

We used to live in a small town near Hamburg, we that is my husband and my 2 children aged 6 and 10 years. My husband climbed the ranks in his company and an offer came to manage the branch in Berlin independently. He works in the IT industry. Luckily we had a few weeks to think about it. Of course, the children weren't enthusiastic at all, they didn't want to leave their familiar surroundings and above all they didn't want to give up their friends. I myself, on the other hand, wanted to go to Berlin, I lived there for a year and I liked the city. My husband wanted to remain neutral, but it was clear that he wanted to take this opportunity. Before we made a firm commitment, we had to find out about the Berlin real estate market. We used to rent but we could also imagine buying a condominium in the capital. After scouring the real estate markets on the Internet, we decided to go to Berlin for a weekend ourselves, the 2-hour drive is tolerable. We had arranged some viewing appointments with a broker from Berlin. Both rental apartments and condominiums in Berlin were on the program. We had viewing appointments in rented or condominiums in Prenzlauer Berg, Mitte and Charlottenburg. However, these are also the most popular districts in Berlin. The very competent broker, who had really nice offers in his portfolio, took his time and didn't want to talk us into anything. During the tour I noticed that despite the enormous bomb damage of 2nd World War II, much of the old building fabric in Berlin has been preserved. Since we preferred an apartment in an old building anyway, we finally found an apartment in Charlottenburg that all family members really liked. The real estate agent kept them for the end of the viewing, as a highlight so to speak. It is a beautiful 5-room apartment with old parquet, double doors and, compared to our previous apartment, it is huge. The children were absolutely delighted. The agent quoted the rental price, which wasn't really cheap. Well, the apartment is also very big. In any case, we were well informed about the rental prices in Berlin through the Internet and the rent requested was on average. It was precisely this apartment that gave us the final impetus to move to Berlin. After the agent had taken care of everything very reliably, we came to the handover of the apartment. Everything went very professionally and we were able to move in on the same day. We were almost happy to pay the commission for this recommendable broker from Berlin. To date, none of us have regretted the decision. If someone is looking for a competent contact person in matters of real estate, we canrecommend large properties .

Rental price brakes will very likely lead to a shortage of rental apartments

The new regulation on the rental price brake is scheduled to come into force in spring 2015. The rental price brake will have an effect on the majority of newly rented apartments. However, what no one could really have considered is the fact that economical construction can only work under certain conditions. One of these prerequisites is still the amount of the achievable rent.

Marco Sauer, real estate expert and CFO of Berlin Immowert, has been looking after international investors for many years and sees a trend reversal here. He therefore urges caution: the extensive renovation of existing properties and the construction of new residential projects always require a high degree of financial foresight. Of course, due to the ongoing low interest rate policy of the ECB, real estate purchases are and will remain interesting as a form of investment , but anyone who is planning an ambitious real estate project today bears a large financial risk in which, apart from the equity to be provided, large parts usually have to be financed externally.

So far, you have largely had the entrepreneurial freedom to adjust the rent according to your needs. However, the rental price brake will distort the market to the detriment of investors. If you want to buy an apartment building in the future, for example, you have to make do with no significant options for adaptation and calculate from the outset. When purchasing such a “non-adaptable property”, any changes in the interest rate market leave behind incalculable risks.

Conclusion: In the medium term, the increasing pressure on investors will most likely mean that many properties that would normally be available for integration into the rental market will be withdrawn from the regional offer by being split up and sold to owner-occupiers. This is the only way for sellers to achieve an adequate purchase price. Interest in buying investment property has so far been unbroken. However, Berlin Immowert focuses on sustainable asset solutions and therefore also offers comprehensive advice and support on these special topics.

Berlin Immowert provides services for real estate funds and real estate investors. From looking after investors to acquiring and purchasing real estate and managing the corresponding shares and assets. It acts as a holistic real estate manager who provides acquisition, due diligence, asset and property management services from the project planning to the realization phase of a property. She has successfully overseen numerous well-known sales in recent years.

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A current study by the Ministry of Social Affairs in North Rhine-Westphalia shows a drastic increase in homelessness in the state. The number of homeless people rose by a total of ten percent between 2007 and 2012. It is estimated that around 100,000 people are affected.

The most common reason for impending homelessness is rent arrears. This is the case for almost 90 percent. In addition, the majority of those threatened by homelessness receive Hartz IV. The age range extends from 25 to 60 years for single people without children. Men are also significantly more likely to be homeless than women.

Since the demand is also increasing in the federal capital, the Berlin Senate now wants to create new emergency accommodation. These are essential for survival, especially in the winter months. Originally, an increase of around 80 beds to 500 was planned. Now those responsible want to create around 100 more places. The main reason for the rapidly increasing homelessnessthe general housing shortage is seen in Berlin. The need for emergency accommodation is also growing due to the influx of homeless people from Eastern Europe. Despite the mild temperatures in November, the accommodations were already 90 percent occupied. Increasingly, accommodation is being offered by private providers. Poor hygienic conditions and other abuses often prevail there, although these operators are also paid by the job centers and social welfare offices.

Anyone who has ended up on the street often has great difficulty getting back into a regulated living environment. This is a problem in larger cities in particular, as there is often a large deficit in affordable housing. Subsidized housing is in short supply. Even if many homeless people do not necessarily sleep on the street, but stay with friends or acquaintances, they do not have their own address. For this reason, there are so-called day apartments in Osnabrück and other cities, which serve as a postal address for the homeless. In addition, washing machines, showers or lockers for belongings and papers as well as contact persons are usually available. But it serves as a place to warm up, especially in the cold winter months.

Conversion: future for vacancies in cities

Vacant multi-storey car parks, offices or industrial areas. In many cities there are buildings whose original function has become useless. Creative conversion is the magic word.

They are a thorn in the side of many. Former multi-storey car parks and industrial areas that have lost their use are often seen as eyesore in Germany's cities. Many examples show that new concepts can be used to successfully convert fallow land.

Instead of demolishing the buildings after years of vacancy, architects and urban planners are developing new ideas that make conversion possible. A good example of this is a multi-storey car park in Münster. However, it is one of the few examples of versatile conversion. Instead of a multi-storey car park, there is now a mixture of furniture stores, high-quality apartments, offices and a bicycle parking garage in the Stubengasse in Münster. Parking garages in particular, which are no longer used due to the bankruptcy of the affiliated department stores, are empty in many cities. Instead of striving for overall use as a multi-storey car park, new mixed concepts are emerging. However, investors are often more interested in uniform use. Other buildings can also receive new splendor through conversion. Old barns become stylish lofts. Other to holiday homes. Even a car repair shop can be turned into a cozy apartment by converting it.

Another example is the LevoPark in Bad Segeberg near Hamburg. The former barracks area has been home to over 50 companies since 2008. A mix of start-ups and established companies has given the buildings, which had been vacant for several years, a new function. One difficulty that the initiators saw at the beginning and that they wanted to avoid was that the newly settled retailers could lose purchasing power and force them out of the nearby city center. For this reason, care was taken to ensure that complementary companies and service providers rented space on the site. There are always a number of aspects that need to be taken into account when making a change. In contrast to a new building, the existing conditions are adapted to the new concept.


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AENGEVELT expects the dynamics of the Berlin real estate market to continue

Berlin is in the favor of investors! And a look at key figures shows that the interest of both national and international investors in the German capital is justified: •
In the last five years, the number of residents in Berlin has grown by almost 150,000 inhabitants and thus by the size of a large city.
• Economic output increased in Berlin and has been growing faster for years than in comparison to the entire federal territory. Today around 130,000 more people are employed than five years ago. This has lasting positive effects for the service metropolis, especially since a large part of the growth is attributable to future-oriented sectors.
• "That's why so many investors like Berlin," says Peter Starke, spokesman for the investment division of AENGEVELT and Berlin branch manager, and adds: "Investors are looking for growth regions with future prospects and therefore prefer Berlin. Compared to the previous year, when people were primarily looking for top central locations, demand is now also aimed at other (district) locations in Berlin.”

Office market: Young sectors provide impetus for growth

• In the first nine months of 2014, around 392,000 m² of office space was taken up in Berlin. This clearly exceeded the comparison period of 2013 (338,000 m²). "Since the end-of-year spurt has been exceptionally good so far, we expect take-up of around 570,000 m² by the end of the year," says Peter Starke.
• It is the ICT (information and communication technology) sectors, the media and the creative industries that shape market activity in Berlin. These sectors are expanding, but are also price-sensitive. Large companies (with a high willingness to pay) are acting cautiously.
• Due to the expansive demand, the vacancy rate has been falling for years. Around 1.35 million m² of office space or 7.4% of the total stock in Berlin is currently vacant. Despite the low vacancy rate, there is still a corresponding offer in almost every quality of space throughout the city. However, there are signs of shortages in central inner-city locations in the space segment between 250 m² and 500 m².
• This is one of the reasons why the top rent, which is currently around EUR 22.50/m² per month, is not rising significantly. Starke: “Price-sensitive buyers often switch to other, cheaper locations. This is leading to an increase in average rents because it is the locations that have been less in demand so far that are benefiting from this development.” On average, office rents across the entire city area are around EUR 12.85/m² per month.

Investment market above expectations

• “As recently as 2013, the Berlin market for commercial investments in Germany was in third place on investors' shopping lists. Berlin caught up in 2014 and is now in second place ahead of Munich,” Peter Starke summarizes the market situation and adds: “Since there is still a lot of capital in the market, the transaction volume in 2014 will probably exceed the previous year’s result at over EUR 4 billion ."
• Peter Starke sees reasons for this positive result on the demand side: “Interest in Berlin real estate is high and more and more vacant properties are being accepted.” Berlin's economic development has been above average in a national comparison for years. Because of this economic prosperity, investors are increasingly “daring” to move into secondary locations in Berlin because they expect significant potential for value growth here, for example through the reduction of vacancies. Opportunities are also seen in project development. The best example is the sale of the Tacheles area in Berlin-Mitte.
• Overall, an increasing willingness to take risks can be observed in Berlin – more clearly than in other German metropolises. For example, the not yet fully let UPPER WEST on Berlin's Kurfürstendamm was sold by STRABAG Real Estate to RFR Holding shortly after the foundation stone was laid (completion expected in early 2017).
• It is primarily private investors, family offices and pension funds who buy in top locations. Capital protection is the priority here. On the other hand, secondary or peripheral locations are the focus for value-add investors or capital investors with higher return requirements. This is also a result of the low initial yields in the core segment, which in Berlin are currently around 4.4% for fully let commercial buildings in prime locations and 4.8% for office properties.

Outlook 2015

office market
The prospects for the Berlin office market are good for 2015: “The demand for office space remains brisk. Due to the expansive demand for space combined with low new construction activity, net absorption continues to be positive. Accordingly, the vacancy rate will continue to fall. A drop of bitterness for landlords: the companies driving the take-up of space are often young and in the expansion phase. However, this means shorter contract periods. Accordingly, despite the reduction in vacancies, the demands on portfolio management are increasing,” Peter Starke describes the prospects for the Berlin office property market and adds: “In our view, rents in the top segment – ​​against the background of the restrained economic growth forecast for 2015 – will only increase moderately.

Investment market
In the investment area, Starke sees little scope for a further contraction in yields for top yields. According to his analysis, things will therefore be particularly exciting in 2015: “Away from the established locations, there is potential. Project developments will also gain in importance again in the coming years. Here, however, the financing side has a limiting effect," says Starke and continues: "It must be taken into account that few speculative commercial areas have been developed in recent years. According to our analyses, there is a foreseeable lack of inexpensive, modern space in central locations. Therefore, in 2015 we see an increased interest in projects in the outskirts of the city in the commercial segment. The price/performance ratio is better here than in central inner-city locations.”

Conclusion: For 2015, AENGEVELT expects market activity to continue to be dynamic with continued high demand for Berlin investment properties.

AENGEVELT IMMOBILIEN, founded in 1910, is one of the largest and most experienced real estate service providers in Germany with around 125 employees at locations in Düsseldorf (parent company), Berlin, Frankfurt/M., Leipzig, Magdeburg and Dresden and, together with its partner networks, offers its customers DIP – Deutsche Immobilien-Partner and IPP International Property Partners nationwide and internationally comprehensive customer-specific support in the office, retail, logistics, hotel and residential market segments.

The company accompanies and advises its customers on the basis of its extensive scientific real estate research along the entire value chain of their properties - from purchase to project initiation/support, letting etc. to exit/sale.

AENGEVELT regularly has its services checked by an independent market research institute. The results of the most recent survey are again top marks in terms of customer satisfaction: the rate of those who would definitely or possibly hire AENGEVELT again as a service provider reaches the top value of 99%.

In order to guarantee its customers completely independent, market-oriented specialist advice, AENGEVELT is and remains absolutely independent of banks, insurance companies and directives and is therefore free of bancassurance and group strategies and also maintains comprehensive value management.

AENGEVELT has also been DIN EN ISO9001:2008 certified since 2008 and was one of the first companies in the German real estate industry to receive the “Compliance Management” certificate from the “Initiative Corporate Governance der Deutschen Immobilienwirtschaft eV” (ICG) in 2010.


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Barrier-free living

Long searches are part of it for wheelchair users. Barrier-free and affordable housing is difficult to find. Housing offices and larger housing associations are the first points of contact.

If an apartment has to meet special requirements, this can make the search more difficult. Disabled and barrier-free apartments in particular are not easy to find. The search often extends over a longer period of time, sometimes even years. Accessibility does not necessarily mean that the property is also suitable for wheelchair users. The term is primarily about unrestricted and completely free access for everyone and therefore especially for people with restricted mobility. Wheelchair users have a particularly difficult time finding accommodation. There is hope, however, as demand continues to grow as society ages. More and more property developers are paying attention to the accessibility of their new buildings.

Financial problems

People with restricted mobility or pensioners, i.e. those for whom barrier-free apartments are intended, often only have a low income. However, since accessibility includes, for example, a bathroom suitable for the disabled and other structural features, the construction costs are usually higher than for "normal" properties. This is of course reflected in the rental price. In addition, such apartments, according to the requirements, are more spacious. A factor that is also reflected in the rent. Anyone who is a recipient of benefits from the job center or social welfare office should therefore first consult with the relevant office before renting the apartment.

In addition to looking for a new apartment, it is of course also possible to make your current home barrier-free. This includes a disabled bathroom, wide door frames, a ramp in front of the front door and possibly an elevator, as well as special furniture. If a living space adjustment is not possible due to high conversion costs or the landlord, a suitable property must be found.

Wheelchair user apartment with a residence entitlement certificate

In most cases, only people with a certificate of entitlement to housing (WBS) are entitled to an apartment for wheelchair users. This can usually be applied for at the housing office of the responsible district. Anyone who does not have a WBS can contact larger housing associations. They often have barrier-free apartments on offer without identifying them as such. So it's worth asking.


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Rents and purchase prices – Dortmund and Berlin – Real estate madness is also raging in these cities

In Germany, more and more people are drawn to the metropolises. This is causing home prices to skyrocket. On the national average, on the other hand, real estate prices are rising more slowly, and rents are no longer rising at all, according to an analysis.

Mortgages are cheaper than ever, alternative investments are rare: This is one of the reasons why the purchase prices for residential property in Germany are continuing to rise. This is especially true in big cities, which are attracting more and more people.  

Overall, however, the momentum in the price increase for residential property is slowing down, emphasized the real estate association IVD on Thursday when the latest residential price index was presented in Frankfurt. For an existing condominium with a medium living value, 1082 euros per square meter would currently be paid. That is 4.5 percent more than in the previous year, after prices had risen by 5.3 percent in 2013.  

"This means that the average price level for condominiums is still ten percent lower than it was 20 years ago," said IVD Vice President Jürgen Michael Schick. Because after the real estate boom of the 1990s, the prices for residential property fell disproportionately for a long time. A catch-up process has only been observed since 2010.

Prices in metropolitan areas

However, condominiums in large cities are becoming more expensive than the national average – and faster than in the previous year. A square meter in cities with at least 500,000 inhabitants costs an average of 1,689 euros, which is 9.3 percent more than a year ago: the previous year's increase was 7.8 percent. “More and more people want to make themselves independent of the development of rents by buying their own four walls and are taking advantage of the currently low interest rate level to buy an apartment. They are thus contributing to the upward movement in purchase prices for condominiums," said Schick. 

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IVD President Jens-Ulrich Kießling also justifies the development with the growing population in the metropolises: "New residential construction cannot keep up with this - even if the volume of new construction has increased in recent years".  

Biggest increase in Munich, Hamburg and Berlin

Prices in Munich rose again particularly sharply by 14.29 percent: According to the IVD information, buyers there currently have to pay 3,600 euros per square meter for a condominium of average quality. Stuttgart (EUR 2,245, +9.87 percent) follows a long way behind in second place, ahead of Hamburg (EUR 2,100, +10.53 percent). Berlin remains significantly cheaper at 1,750 euros per square meter – however, the development there is rapid (+ 12.9 percent). "Prices will continue to rise, but they won't skyrocket," predicts Schick. In some metropolises, however, double-digit plus rates are still possible. 


On the other hand, the rent development in Germany has slowed noticeably according to the analysis. On average, an apartment with a medium standard of living – which was built after 1949 – currently costs 5.78 euros net cold rent per square meter. That is 2.1 percent more than in the previous year, explained IVD. Last year, the price increase was still more than three percent. In many large cities such as Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Dresden, as well as Bonn and Wiesbaden, rents have not increased at all.
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Tips for looking for an apartment – ​​You must ask these nine questions when viewing the apartment

Even if the apartment was very difficult to find and would actually fit perfectly, you should not accept immediately. First ask the broker or landlord these questions – and then decide whether you really want to keep the apartment.

1. What is the size of the apartment in the rental agreement?

The details of the apartment size in advertisements are not binding. The number of square meters in the rental agreement is decisive. And even that number doesn't have to be right. Deviations of up to ten percent from the actual size are permitted. Actually, you would have to measure the apartment yourself again - but that is of course difficult at the first viewing appointment, when other interested parties might be walking through the rooms.

2. What is the local rent?

Even if the apartment appears cheap at first glance, it can quickly be over. If the rent is below the local comparative rent, the owner can raise it to the usual level after one year - but not by more than 20 percent per increase. In some metropolitan areas, the limit is 15 percent.

3. On what basis were the additional costs calculated?

The operating costs and the costs for heating and water now make up a significant part of the rent. Before moving into the new apartment, tenants should therefore inquire about the basis on which the ancillary costs were estimated. Were they simply taken over by the previous tenant? If the ancillary costs are calculated too tightly, there is a risk of high additional payments.

4. Can I see the Energy Performance Certificate?

Since May 2014 every house needs an energy certificate. It provides information about how well the house is insulated. This will give you an idea of ​​the heating costs you will incur. As a guide, the scale ranges from A+ to H, a residential building with average consumption is in class E. 

5. Are pets allowed?

In principle, owners may not ban pets. However, approval is required if you want to bring a dog or cat with you. Asking in advance will save you trouble and nasty surprises.

6. May I use the garden?

If the apartment has a garden, you shouldn't just assume that you can use it. Better clarify this point before there is a disappointment after moving in.

7. What does the lease say about rent increases?

Sometimes the rent is linked to an index. It then rises in line with the inflation rate, for example. There are also graduated rentals. When the contract is signed, it is agreed when and to what extent the rent will increase.

8. Do I have to shovel snow or clean the stairwell?

Getting up early in winter to clear the sidewalk? Cleaning the stairwell at the weekend? Not everyone wants that. Therefore, clarify beforehand whether there is a winter service, caretaker or cleaner.

9. May I still have a look at the cellar?

With a trip to the basement, you play it safe that you can really store things there and that it's not a damp hole. Similar to the garden, it is important that clear agreements are made for use. The same applies – if available – to the attic.


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Berlin's most expensive districts

Berlin condominiums are getting more and more expensive! The Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Mitte and Pankow districts in particular have been hit hard by the explosion in purchase prices: there are hardly any bargains left for real estate buyers here!

Because if you want to buy an apartment in one of these popular districts, you should have your pockets full: A used condominium here costs more than 2,000 euros per square meter on average!

The situation is different in the Spandau district: If you want to buy a property in the west of Berlin, you will find apartments here with a square meter price of around 1,049 euros. This emerges from the purchase price table published by LBS Norddeutsche Landesbausparkasse Berlin-Hannover (LBS Nord). The basis for this are the sales offers in the Berlin daily newspapers for apartments in the size between 60 and 120 square meters.

Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg: most expensive district of Berlin

Accordingly, the highest average prices are required for used condominiums in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. The current square meter price here is around 2,140 euros. But it gets even better: The top prices in this district are even 2,649 euros!

Middle: is in second place

Mitte is the second most expensive district in Berlin. Here there are the typical asking prices of 2,050 euros per square meter, but also maximum prices of almost 3,000 euros per square meter.

Pankow: also expensive

The whole thing looks similar in Pankow. The average prices have anchored here at 2,250 euros. But there are also top values, amounting to 2,634 euros per square meter. This means that Pankow is almost on par with Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg.

The study also confirms that in all three districts, an average Berlin household spends more than six times its annual income to buy an apartment from the existing stock.

Lichtenberg: a possible alternative

If you cannot keep up with these price developments, you should look for an apartment in another district of Berlin. A medium price level prevails in the district of Lichtenberg, for example. The square meter price for an apartment here is 1,406 euros.

With a price of 1,611 euros per square meter, Tempelhof-Schöneberg is significantly cheaper than Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg or Mitte.

The housing situation is also looking better in Steglitz-Zehlendorf: real estate buyers here have to reckon with a price of 1,656 euros per square meter. This means that buyers have to spend around four to five times their annual income for a used condominium in Steglitz-Zehlendorf.

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Right of withdrawal for brokerage contracts

New EU directive: real estate agents are now obliged to inform their customers about the right of withdrawal. Nevertheless, not all real estate professionals follow this specification. You could lose your commission.

A new EU consumer directive that came into force in mid-June gives customers more rights when it comes to real estate brokerage. The most important innovation among the guidelines for housing brokerage also affects brokerage contracts. Appropriate circumstances allow the contract to be revoked even after it has been concluded. Specifically, this applies to contracts that were either not concluded in closed business premises or via so-called long-distance routes, such as e-mails and letters. Within this framework, customers are entitled to a limited right of withdrawal, about which they must be properly informed by the broker. This also includes handing them a cancellation form. The cancellation period ends 14 days after the conclusion of the contract, but does not begin before the customer has been informed of the same.

How do brokers deal with this?

Real estate brokerage, like so many other areas, is about transparency. It is important for the customer to know which services are provided and how the contractual relationship is structured. As a result of the new regulation, brokers now have to consider whether to start work before the cancellation period. This could lead to problems, especially in the area of ​​online contracts. Even if a property has been successfully brokered, the contract can be revoked within this period. Real estate agents now fear for their commission. The brokers are entitled to compensation if the customer expressly agreed when the contract was concluded that the search for a suitable property should begin before the deadline.

However, a survey by the real estate portal Immonet showed that around 19 percent of real estate agents do not want to inform their customers about the right of withdrawal. This automatically extends the right of withdrawal by one year. Customers could therefore revoke the contract long after they had moved in and demand a refund of the commission. However, waiting for the two-week period will not be practicable in the fast-moving everyday real estate business. However, as long as the customer agrees to the start of the transaction before the deadline has expired and he has been properly informed of his rights, there will be no problems for either party.

Outsource instead of clearing out - More space in the basement: Storage compartments are good for that

The apartment is too small, the basement too full and there is already a lot stacked up in the attic: for many, the last resort is to rent a storage compartment. They can be found in large cities in particular, where living space is often particularly scarce.

market is confusing

In the USA there has been a trend towards "self-storage" for 60 years. In Germany, the market hasn't been booming for quite that long. And it is one thing above all: confusing. Because many providers do not publish their prices on their website. In the worst case, interested parties have to ask each provider personally. Even the prices for the same company vary from city to city.

The "Stiftung Warentest" has taken a closer look at the rental warehouse. The bottom line: Customers should think carefully about which items they want to outsource, because rental storage is not cheap. In Berlin, for example, up to 40 euros can be charged for one square meter.

Beware of cheap providers

It is also worth comparing the services that are included in the offer. Who would want to laboriously carry their boxes to the storage compartment because the warehouse doesn't have an elevator? Such nasty surprises are often experienced with providers who lure with particularly low prices.

It is therefore advisable to store your things with a provider who is a member of the German self-storage industry association. This is because it writes fixed quality guidelines to its currently 22 members.

In the warehouses of these companies, for example, there must be an anti-theft system and smoke detectors. Many entrances are therefore monitored by video and at night by security companies. Customers can also be sure that the storage rooms are dry and clean.

Additional insurance advisable

For special needs, there are even providers who can regulate the climatic conditions of their compartments. In this way, wine lovers can also store their bottles safely.

In the case of valuables in particular, it makes sense to take out additional insurance with the respective storage company. Because: Stored items are not automatically insured against theft or water damage, and your own household contents insurance often does not apply in this case either.

The "Stiftung Warentest" therefore recommends clarifying in advance with the household insurance company whether damage outside of your own home is also insured. You should also compare the different storage providers beforehand, for example at or

Rental warehouses often only in big cities

With around 25,000 customers and 35,000 storage compartments, the company Myplace is the largest provider of rental storage in the German-speaking region. The market leader already has 23 locations in Germany. About a new one is added every year, says the managing partner of MyPlace-Selfstorage, Martin Gehardus. The market is growing slowly but steadily.

Other major providers are Lagerbox with 14 locations, Shurgard with 11 branches, Secur and Pickens with nine and six warehouses respectively. The disadvantage for everyone who does not live in a metropolitan region: the warehouses are usually only in large cities.

European market is growing

But there should be many more locations soon, because the European market still has great potential. In Europe, the management density is only around 1.5 percent of the US market volume.

So if there is not enough space in your own apartment, it is definitely worth getting an offer from the rental storage providers.

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Best opportunity for buyers - Vechta is a top region for real estate value appreciation

According to a Postbank study, real estate in Lower Saxony and Bremen should continue to increase in value. The bank sees the district of Vechta as the top growth region , which ranks 27th out of 402 German districts and cities surveyed. 

Households with a low net income (up to 1700 euros/month) could afford an average of 105 square meters of living space there, average earners (up to 2600 euros) 179 square meters, Postbank said on Monday when it presented the Prognos study “Housing Ownership 2014”. In general, in three out of four regions of Lower Saxony and Bremen, the purchase of a house of at least 100 square meters can also be financed for households with a lower income. 

The study examined the regions in which living space is “affordable”. For this it was assumed that the cold rent does not amount to more than 30 percent of the household net income. When buying, on the other hand, the financing burden – with an equity share of 20 percent – ​​should not account for more than 40 percent of the income.  

Postbank found out that only in the district of Lüneburg, the cities of Osnabrück, Oldenburg, Bremen, Braunschweig and Wolfsburg and the Hanover region do households with middle incomes reach their financial limits when buying a 130 square meter house. According to this, there is the most living space for the money in the district of Holzminden, where low-income earners can also afford houses. In the districts of Leer and Aurich, which also include four East Frisian islands, there is only a 53 or 61 square meter apartment for the same money. 

The district of Vechta is given good to very good future prospects until 2025. It stands out in the totality of all examined factors on the labor market, competition and innovation as well as prosperity and social situation. In this ranking, he relegated Wolfsburg, the district of Cloppenburg, Oldenburg, the Emsland, Braunschweig, the county of Bentheim, Osnabrück, the Ammerland and the district of Harburg to the next places.
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Complaint before the Federal Court of Justice – landlord appeals to the BGH for higher rent

An owner would like to increase the rent for his Berlin apartment by 20 percent . However, the state of Berlin only allows an increase of 15 percent. The landlord now wants to enforce his claim before the Federal Court of Justice.

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) is currently examining the conditions under which federal states may limit rent increases. Specifically, it's about Berlin: The state decided in 2013 that particularly low apartment rents within the city may only increase by 15 percent in three years.

The BGH confirmed a corresponding procedure. There is no trial date yet, it said. In the initial case, a landlord from the Berlin district of Wedding had sued his tenant for his consent to a 20 percent rent increase. 

The procedure relates to rents that are well below the so-called local comparative rent. They may be increased by up to 20 percent within three years. The federal states may lower this limit if the supply of the population with affordable rented space is at risk. Berlin did that in May 2013.


The country did not convincingly justify its regulation, said Inka-Marie Storm from Haus & Grund. The homeowners' association supports the lawsuit. According to the association, the state does not use the federal housing aid to increase the supply of housing in the sought-after districts of Berlin. "This landlord-style housing policy in Berlin is now to be examined by a supreme court," said association president Rolf Kornemann. 

In addition to Berlin, Hamburg and Munich have also lowered the limit. The association expects that the BGH proceedings could also have an impact on the rental price brake planned by the federal government for new contracts.



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Up to 7500 euros per square meter - FOCUS-Online-Test: How much does an 80 square meter apartment cost in major German cities?

The increase in rents in major German cities is slowing down, but apartments are becoming more and more expensive to buy. How much does an apartment in Berlin, Munich and Co. actually cost? FOCUS Online did the test.

Anyone who wants to buy an apartment can hardly keep up with saving in German cities. Condominium prices have been rising rapidly for years. Some prefer to buy because they fear rising rents. The others sense the risk of inflation and want to invest their money in substance. And in both groups, demand is fueled by low interest rates.

The most expensive city is and remains Munich. The average price per square meter in 2013 was just under 4800 euros per square metre. Since 2008 it has increased by almost 2000 euros. At that time, apartments in Munich were comparatively cheap at 2,800 euros per square meter. Surprising: behind the Bavarian state capital comes not Hamburg, but Garmisch-Partenkirchen as the second most expensive city in the Federal Republic. And if you want to buy an apartment in Freiburg, you also have to pay an average of 3,300 euros per square meter.

All of this information is always an average. FOCUS Online wanted to know for sure and went looking for a flat in the eleven largest German cities.

The search was for the following model apartment:

– centrally located – as close to the city center as possible;

– around 80 square meters;

- with balcony.

The search was carried out on large Internet platforms such as Immoscout, Immowelt or large regional portals.


Awareness and image influence purchase prices

If you want to live in Berlin, you have many choices. In the Mitte district alone there were 15 apartments for sale this week. It can hardly be more central.

The most expensive 80 square meter apartment in Berlin costs 410,000 euros. The cheapest is 220,000 euros. The average value of all properties available there that meet the search criteria is just under 350,000 euros. A similar number of advertisements can be found for the districts of Prenzlauer Berg and Friedrichshain. Although the location is also very central and not far from well-known squares like Alexanderplatz, the prices are cheaper here. The most expensive apartment costs 387,000 euros, the cheapest 149,000 euros. The price difference can be explained by differences in location and the state of renovation. The average cost for an 80 square meter apartment in these three districts is around 290,000 euros. 

Apartments in the selected categories are available in Hamburg for prices between 239,000 and 654,000 euros. The prices vary between districts such as St. Pauli, Eimsbüttel or Uhlenhorst due to the popularity of the district. The average is just under 370,000 euros.

Munich is by far the most expensive city in the test. You can't call an apartment cheap here in the selected category. Interested parties have to spend at least 300,000 euros. From 400,000 euros it really starts. In some cases, the 80 square meter home is even offered at a steep price of just under 600,000 euros. That's an incredible 7500 euros per square meter.


To buy cheap in Leipzig

Purchasing real estate in the Ruhr area is significantly cheaper: almost 200,000 euros for an apartment in Dortmund seem reasonable. The prices here have hardly changed in recent years, and there have only rarely been price increases.

Of the cities tested, Leipzig in particular catches the eye. In the last three years, prices in the city have increased slightly. Nevertheless, the apartments here are extremely cheap compared to the national trend. If you have a budget of 90,000 euros, you can get a three-room apartment with 79 square meters and a balcony. Of course, it can also be more expensive: up to 250,000 euros. Still a bargain compared to other cities.


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Rent or buy?!

The decision to buy or rent a property is still very difficult for many. For young people in particular, this is groundbreaking for the future. 

It is therefore not surprising that brokers and financial service providers are particularly interested in young graduates, as they usually earn well and are thinking about starting a family. There are also topics such as wealth accumulation and retirement provision. For example, you should think twice about switching to private health insurance or staying with the voluntary statutory one. You should also consider whether you should be insured for disability or occupational disability. Disability tends to affect people with office jobs, while occupational disability affects people who do physical work, for example in crafts or in care.

Which savings contract is right for me?

Retirement provision and wealth accumulation are often closely related to the decision to buy a property or not. Here it is important to consider whether the rent is cheaper over the years, or whether a house is worthwhile despite maintenance costs and depreciation over the years. Which savings contracts are worthwhile and whether it makes sense to invest in real estate or in financial products essentially depends on personal life planning. The specific example is about a young lawyer who earns well and has taken great care of his retirement provisions. Now the lawyer is faced with the question of whether he would like to have his own house in a few years' time in order to start a family later. Long-term savings contracts are recommended if there is no interest in owning a home. Short-term savings contracts are useful when buying a property. So if you want to own your own home, you should take out bank savings plans and building loan contracts. If you don't want to own a home, you can rely on annuity policies and stock savings plans for your retirement. If you can't make up your mind, you have the option of converting a home savings contract into annuities and shares.

In addition, there is the development on the real estate market. The supply of apartment buildings is becoming scarcer, especially in high-growth regions. In the long term, rising rents and real estate prices must be taken into account. Because if you buy early, you may benefit later. Your own life situation, but also the feeling of living and living costs should be taken into account when deciding whether to buy or rent a house.


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