It may be best known as a centre for business and banking, but smart investors are quickly catching on to the fact that there’s far more to Frankfurt than initially meets the eye. While skyscrapers dominate the skyline of the city, there are plenty of more cosmopolitan pleasures to be found at street level, from verdant parkland to up-and-coming boutiques. It’s unsurprising that David Schmitt, manager of Engel & Völkers’ Frankfurt office, believes that Frankfurt is underrated – and may soon start to get the attention it deserves.
There is plenty to recommend Frankfurt as a place to live. Known by locals as a “20 minute city” thanks to how quick it is to get from one side to the other, Frankfurt boasts one of the largest airports in Europe, with flights to London taking less than an hour. As international travel becomes an increasingly important part of careers in everything from media to finance, considerations like these are becoming ever more crucial to property investors.
For those who prefer pleasure to business, there’s excellent shopping to be found on Goethestraße, with the presence of leading global brands like Cartier, Armani, and Tiffany drawing fair comparisons with New York’s Fifth Avenue. In terms of culture, Frankfurt’s trump card is the Alte Oper opera house, which boasts a varied programme of plays, concerts, and recitals from the renowned Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Frankfurt’s history as a financial powerhouse dates back to the Middle Ages, so it’s no surprise that this profession still dominates the city today. Banking plays a particularly large role in the economy of the city: Deutsche Bank, the European Central Bank and the German Bundesbank all have headquarters within Frankfurt, and the young professionals that work for these large companies are increasingly putting down roots in the city itself.
Due to an influx of around 15,000 people over the past few years, the residential vacancy rate in Frankfurt has dropped to below two per cent. As the city’s population booms, developers are keen to convert empty office space into luxury apartments. David Schmitt believes that these conversions offer something unique to buyers: “you have flexibility to create what you want.” Frankfurt may be home to two of the most expensive residential streets in Germany, but comparatively, this city still offers exceptional value for money and an opportunity for reliable long-term investments. Speaking to the Financial Times, Schmitt explained that “like-for-like properties in Munich are at least a third more expensive… excellent apartments in very good areas [of Frankfurt] sell for €8,000 per sq. metre, with the most luxurious options only now just breaking through the €10,000 per sq. metre barrier.”
If you’re tempted to add a high-end apartment in Frankfurt to your property portfolio, the experts at Engel & Völkers are always on hand to offer advice and assistance. Frankfurt properties offer great investment opportunities, both in the short and long term. Property values in Frankfurt have been climbing steadily for years, with the city’s most luxurious properties rising in price by more than 25 per cent between 2007 and 2011. For more information, just visit our official E&V website.