Berlin and its surroundings including Potsdam have turned into a dynamic and growing metropolitan area over the past years. The German capital with its vibrant and bustling urban life-style attracts companies, visitors and younger people from around the world. They appreciate Berlin’s cultural amenities, its universities and colleges, its research institutions, its alternative sub-cultures, its parks and rivers – overall the high quality of life Berlin has to offer at comparatively low costs of living. Berlin records positive population growth. Over the past decade the number of inhabitants rose by almost 3% to some 3.5 million. Berlin is thus Germany’s largest city with a positive demographic outlook. Forecasts predict an above average rise in population to some. 3.83 million. Net migration to Berlin will be the driving factor for this development. As the majority of new citizens is between 20 and 33 years old, Berlin is in the focus of companies looking for new employees and markets. The German capital is not only the political center of Germany, but also the country’s number one location for start-ups. Some 40,000 companies are founded annually in Berlin. Next to public and government related institutions, media and IT firms these start-ups form the city’s economic backbone. Moreover, the number of corporates in the consulting, manufacturing, retail and logistics industry opening major offices in Berlin is also rising. Accordingly, employment growth is positive and unemployment decreasing. Berlin recorded more than 30 million overnight stays in 2015 making it the third most visited city in Europe, only outperformed by London and Paris. The number of overnight stays – albeit already at a record high – is expected to rise to some 32 million in 2016. Berlin’s tourism industry is turning into an ever more important growth factor for the German capital.
In terms of office stock, Berlin is the second largest office market in Germany with some 17.9 million sqm (Munich 20.5 million sqm). However, the German capital is number one in terms of office take-up. Driven by its dynamic start-up scene and high office demand from corporate and government institutions, Berlin has surpassed Munich in terms of letting volumes in the past two years. In 2015 take-up amounted to a new record high – with the number of small scale deals below 1,000 sqm way above average. Driven by strong office demand and completion figures still at a comparatively low level, vacancy further decreased in 2015. This trend is forecast to continue in 2016 – most of all in the centre of the capital. Berlin’s prime office rent edged up over 2015. As office supply in the centre of Berlin remains somewhat limited, prime rents are likely to move up in the months to come. Parallel, average rents across Berlin’s office submarkets remain under upward pressure.
Berlin is home to Germany’s most exciting retail pitches and retail concepts. National and international retailers catering for the younger urban crowd favour the area around Hackescher Markt in the Berlin Mitte submarket. Along Neue Schönhauser Straße and adjacent pitches, retailers introduce new store and brand concepts. In contrast, luxury retailers are located in Friedrichstraße in the Mitte submarket and traditionally on Kurfürstendamm, Berlin’s top luxury prime pitch in Berlin’s CBD West. Popular and highly frequented highstreet retail pitches in Berlin’s CBD West are Tauentzienstraße and the eastern part of Kurfürstendamm where some of the highest retail rents in the country are recorded. Retailers located here target the mid-market segment as do retailers located in Berlin’s only pedestrian zone Wilmersdorfer Straße and along Schloßstraße. Shopping around Potsdamer Platz and Leipziger Platz becomes ever more attractive, and retailers appreciate the proximity to shopping centers Potsdamer Platz Arkaden and Mall of Berlin plus the location right in the heart of the capital in walking distance to some of the capital’s most visited tourist sights. The most important shopping destination in Berlin’s CBD East is the area around Alexander Platz where Alexa shopping centre is located.
Berlin has turned into Germany’s number one investment target. Driven by a number of large scale deals the investment volume soared to a record high in 2015 outperforming Munich and Frankfurt. National and even more so international investors value the capital’s strong office, retail and logistics leasing markets, its economic strength and its growth potential. Investment activity rose noticeably across all segments with the majority of deals closed in the office sector. Investor’s focus was clearly on Berlin’s central locations where more than 60% of total investment volume was generated. As pricing is increasingly competitive in these central locations, investors have widened their investment focus and are considering and taking opportunities on the city fringe and in more peripheral submarkets. Yields have moved in across all segments and submarkets in 2015.
The Berlin greater metropolitan area is home to some 6 million inhabitants making it a target destination for logistics companies. Also the favorable location along highway BAB 2/10/12 linking major European agglomerations from Amsterdam to Warsaw is a strong pull factor for logistics entrepreneurs. Take-up in the logistics segment soared in the Berlin region to new record highs in 2016. The number of deals rose in all size categories, however two deals with a letting volume above 40,000 sqm were most remarkable. Take-up is expected to remain at a high level. Albeit construction activity picked up over the past months with the number of speculative projects rising, prime rents are expected to rise.
Our Avison Young opened its Berlin office in July 2016 making it the company’s fifth office in Germany – all located in the German top markets. Our team in Berlin guarantees our clients direct access to the capital’s real estate market. Led by Nicolai Baumann the team provides customized real estate solutions for the Berlin metropolitan region.
Service Provider: Avison Young - Germany GmbH Neue Mainzer Straße 28, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Authorized representatives: Udo Stoeckl (Managing Director), Markus Bruckner (Managing Director), Frank Loeblein (Managing Director), Thomas Loeffler (Managing Director) and Stephan Heinen (Managing Director), Neue Mainzer Straße 28, 60311 Frankfurt am Main
Regulatory authority: Public Order Office (Ordnungsamt) Frankfurt am Main, Kleyerstrasse 86, 60326 Frankfurt am Main
Corporate register and register number: Local Court Frankfurt am Main, HRB 95894
Tax registration number: DE291773639