Berlin has always attracted people from around the world: A varied art and cultural scene, chic and trendy neighbourhoods and, in particular, a unique multi-cultural atmosphere make Germany’s capital an interesting place for all kinds of people. New developments in the region surrounding Berlin are also positively impacting the capital. For example, Berlin-Brandenburg Airport (BER) recently opened “slightly behind schedule”, and Tesla is building a factory right outside Berlin. The German capital is a popular location for investors from both Germany and abroad, and they have invested a great deal indeed, as liquidity hasn’t been an issue in Berlin in recent years. It seemed as if this positive development could go on forever – and then a virus came and changed the lives of everyone in Berlin practically overnight.
The COVID-19 lockdown accelerated the trend of working from home or on the move to such an extent that it began to appear as if we were observing changes and their effects as they were occurring, with no delays in between. As the pandemic continued, mobile work suddenly became the order of the day wherever possible in virtually all economic sectors, and it appears to have a bright future as a normal everyday work arrangement. This is also impacting the housing market, as many people living in cities are apparently now interested in relocating to more rural areas. Expensive inner-city neighbourhoods have thus become less popular, while suburbs are becoming more attractive. Indeed, people who work from home need more space – and space has become much more expensive in cities over the last few years. Moreover, even someone who needs to go to the office in town on occasion won’t mind travelling a long distance if it means keeping their rent as low as possible and being able to make their dream of a quiet life in the suburbs or the countryside come true. Of course, this is also increasing the demands placed on infrastructure in suburbs and rural areas – especially with regard to internet connections. The question is: Will this development bring the relief to the Berlin housing market that everyone has long been hoping for? And what does all of this mean for communities in the region around Berlin? This report extensively analyses these and other questions in the usual manner.
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Sascha Klaus - Chair of the Board of Management, Berlin Hyp AG
Michael Schlatterer - Senior Director Residential Valuation, CBRE GmbH