23 09 2019

12th ACCENTRO Homeownership Report 2019 - Condominiums in Germany: Number of New-Build Condominium Sales Declining, Prices Rising

Berlin, 23 September 2019 – In 2018, a total of 124,467 condominiums were sold in the 82 German cities covered by the report. This implies a decline by 2.51 percent year on year and continues the downward trend of the previous year, when the number of condominium sales had decreased by 5.62 percent. However, the sales volume increased by 4.14 percent whereas last year, a modest dip in sales volume had been reported.

The dynamic of the price growth gained considerable momentum in 2018, with condominium prices rising at an average rate of 6.82 percent in 2018, up from a growth rate of 4.52 percent the previous year. The rise in selling prices caused the sales volume in 2018 to experience a one-year increase by 4.14 percent to 31.57 billion euros.

“The figures presented by the ACCENTRO Homeownership Report 2019 demonstrate that the trend of fast-rising selling prices, which has gone on for more than ten years now, has not only failed to slow down but is actually picking up steam. Reasons to explain this include the persistently low level of interest and the now-as-then enormous pent-up demand that manifests itself most conspicuously in the price hikes in the major cities,” elaborated Jacopo Mingazzini, CEO of ACCENTRO Real Estate AG.

Average Price Tag Crosses Mark of 250,000 Euros for the First Time

The average selling price for condominiums in the 82 major German cities surveyed was 253,674 euros in 2018, crossing the threshold of a quarter million for the first time. In six of the cities, flats sold for an average of over 300,000 euros and the average price in three of them was upward of 400,000 euros. Buyers pay particularly high prices in the conurbations, where population and economic strength are concentrated and where the housing demand is keenest as a result.

Accelerated Selling Price Performance in Berlin

In Germany’s first city, the average selling price of condominiums was 321,578 euros, implying a year-on-year increase by 21.83 percent. In other words, despite the reduced proportion of new-build property, prices have gone up by more than one fifth. The year before, the growth had amounted to a mere 5.50 percent. With the selling price performance having visibly accelerated in 2018, demand cannot be said to have slackened.

Meanwhile, the supply side continues to lag far behind demand. The number of new-build flats sold in 2018 plummeted year on year in 2018, both nationwide (-11.62 percent) and specifically in Berlin (-21.24 percent). “Moreover, since there are currently no indications that the level of interest rates will go up any time soon, it is reasonable to expect prices to keep on rising. However, the dip in sales figures does suggest that the housing market in the major cities is becoming ever more strained and that buying a condominium is getting harder and harder,” Mingazzini went on to explain.

Number of New-Build Condo Sales Takes Nose-Dive

As early as 2017, the ACCENTRO Homeownership Report registered a 13.72-percent dip in the number of new-build flats sold – and recent market evidence has confirmed the trend. Especially in the “Big Seven,” meaning Germany’s seven most populous metropolises or Class A cities, markets have increasingly dried up. In Berlin, the largest and most important housing market in the country, the number of new-build apartment sales dropped by -21.24 percent, compared to -21.19 percent in Frankfurt am Main, -33.44 percent in Düsseldorf and an actual -45.84 percent in Cologne. Among the seven metropolises, Hamburg is the only one with a positive balance. Here, in Germany’s second largest city, the number of new-build flats sold increased by 14.89 percent.

“The consequence of this generally drastic drop in new-build condominium sales, and of the market contractions associable with it, is that prospective buyers are barely able to find suitable flats listed anymore. The growing discrepancy is probably one of the main reasons why the price growth accelerated so briskly year on year in 2018,” said Mingazzini.

“When looking at the current level of building activities in Germany, there is every reason to expect the situation to persist or indeed deteriorate further. During the first half-year of 2019, the number of planning consents for condominiums in Germany declined by 7.9 percent, according to the Federal Statistical Office. Underlying reasons for this include, inter alia, the fact that the political focus is not on housing construction and least of all on the construction of condominiums – rather, the public debate focuses on the rental housing market above all,” Mingazzini went on to say.

About the ACCENTRO Homeownership Report

This year’s edition marks the twelfth time that ACCENTRO Real Estate AG published its Homeownership Report. The analysis is based on residential property sales transacted in all of Germany’s 82 major cities during the reporting year of 2018. A significant distinction that sets the report apart from similar publications, most of which rely on expert appraisals or on analyses of supply-side data, is that it draws on the data of the cities’ property valuation committees.
Detailed findings of the ACCENTRO Homeownership Report on Germany’s ten biggest cities and the trends of the past eleven years are also available online in the ACCENTRO database, and can be retrieved in the form of selective drilldowns:

About ACCENTRO Real Estate AG

ACCENTRO Real Estate AG is Germany’s market leader in housing privatisations. In addition to its home market of Berlin, the company focuses on auspicious metro regions such as Hamburg, Rhine-Ruhr, Rhine-Main and Leipzig. In its Privatisation business unit, ACCENTRO retails condominiums from its proprietary portfolio to owner-occupiers and buy-to-let investors or—bundled into portfolios—to institutional investors. In its Services & Ventures business unit, ACCENTRO sells apartments on behalf of investors and property developers—including through equity investments in its own right within the framework of joint ventures. ACCENTRO Real Estate AG is listed on the Prime Standard segment of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (German securities code number WKN: A0KFKB, ISIN: DE000A0KFKB3).

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