Mr. Schick, what do you hear from brokers in the Berlin area? How far do you have to go from the main train station to find something available?
IVD brokers report a significant increase in demand both on the outskirts of the city and in the Berlin area. Real estate agents say families from Mitte, Pankow and Charlottenburg are now coming to their stores and asking in and around the suburbs of Berlin. These potential buyers are new. So there is a trend towards the periphery. It always existed, but Corona gave it new dynamism. The further from the main station, the cheaper the offers.
What is being asked for? After permanent residence or after a second home or holiday home?
Most people ask about the main residence. And these are potential home buyers and tenants who, due to changed living conditions, are simply looking for something other than what the city center has to offer. Single and childless people simply have different needs than young families. While many single and childless people like pubs, clubs and “Bambule”, young families are looking for proximity to schools, playgrounds, sports grounds, day care centers, gardens and tranquility. You will find it more on the outskirts of Berlin and the surrounding area than in the dense inner city of Berlin.
Are there spatial priorities? Where do you see the dynamics of development?
In the western and south-western part of Berlin, there is a wave of people who moved first. That’s when the surrounding landscape began. This then changed clockwise from west to north over the years. What started with Kleinmachnow, Stahnsdorf, Teltow, then went through Potsdam-Mittelmark, now arrived – practically at 12 o’clock – in Oranienburg, Bernau, Birkenwerder. These are really fast growing communities and districts. Corresponding developments, of course, exist in the east of Berlin. Just think of the eastern and southeastern surroundings, which will have significant benefits from the new BER airport and the settlement of Tesla. For example, the region around Wildau and Königs Wusterhausen will continue to gain in attractiveness.
Are the municipalities aware that a new city is emerging around BER? Is the area conceptually well placed for the transport and infrastructure problems that are now emerging?
I believe that the administrations are working very hard on that. Every family that moves there is in dire need of infrastructure – transport links, internet, shopping, sports, culture and sanitary facilities. Churches know this and adapt. Many people moving to the surrounding area have found that the villages there are much closer to the citizens than in Berlin. The same goes for project developers, by the way. If you go there to the municipal office, you have to deal with careful administration and fast processing times – a welcoming culture that you can only wish for in the capital.
Young family fathers and mothers occasionally turn their backs on the capital and leave neighborhoods such as Charlottenburg, Mitte, … Photo: picture alliance / dpa / Wolfram Steinberg
Are there reliable data on the development of real estate in the area?
The Berlin Bacon Belt and its surroundings are more in demand than ever before. Every month, almost 1,100 more people move to Potsdam, Teltow and other suburban areas than to the capital. But the same is also true here: the worse the communities connected to Berlin, the less interest there is in life. The IVD survey shows that nationwide more than half of our member companies experience these evasive movements in the environment. If the demand is high, the value also increases. The family house in the Berlin area received a value of 16 percent in 2020 compared to the previous year.
Doubling in a ten-year period?
Houses are much cheaper in many regions in the Berlin area than in the capital. Everyone who has invested in such a house in recent years has done everything right. Now he can look forward to increasing the value. However, at all current growth rates, it must also be borne in mind that the price level there has been low for many years. As a new buyer in the area, you are now jumping on a train that has been in motion for a long time. That the value of this house will double in ten years sounds good, but I would not speculate. Growth, of course, but not so high.
What are you currently considering developing large projects in the area? Where are many units built?
Many regions in the Berlin area are changing and developing further – for example, the region around BER or the Tesla plant. But other regions are also exciting when I think of Bernau, for example. 2,000 housing units are to be built on the site of the former barracks, including terraced houses. By the way, this is also increasingly interesting for institutional investors – contributory funds, pension funds and pension funds. And that’s new. In some cases, they are also perceived by products such as townhouses for permanent rent – they see that there is also a sustainable lending market.
What development do you see in the field of logistics and commercial real estate, office and retail real estate? Wherever the community grows, commercial sites must also emerge.
Interestingly, so many people commute from Ludwigsfelde and Oranienburg in the morning when they commute. These are the correct workplace locations. Of course, this does not apply to all communities.
However, large relocations of production plants from Berlin to the surrounding area are rare. Especially since there is no longer any remarkable production in Berlin. Berlin is just a service point. That is why we are doing well with the current crisis. If companies are prospering, they are definitely looking for space around Tesla in Grünheide and around BER Airport – but this is not yet a megatrend in the area. So I’d rather swap your list: Wherever new business places emerge, the community grows.
Reinhart Bünger conducted an interview.