Engel & Völkers Germany > Blog > Buy an apartment, or better rent? Two living concepts juxtaposed.

Buy an apartment, or better rent? Two living concepts juxtaposed.

With over 57 percent of the total population, a large part of all Germans live for rent. In the case of one-person households, it is even more than 70 percent. The concept of apartment rental is considered by many to be the unquestioned standard - alternatives prove that both financially more efficient and more sustainable living is definitely possible. Buying a condominium with real estate agent Engel & Völkers Germany instead of renting it turns out to be the fundamentally more worthwhile option in many cases. In this article, our real estate agent team compared the advantages and disadvantages of both living concepts so that you can determine whether buying or renting is the better choice in your individual situation - find out more!

Renting an apartment in Germany - flexible, but uneconomical.

The living concept of renting undoubtedly reveals some advantages that are difficult to deny, which are not least responsible for its great popularity. It is the simplest and fastest accessible form of living: no high entry fee is required, the monthly burden is justifiable across Germany with an average of a quarter of the monthly net income and statutory tenant protection is well developed across the board. In addition, tenants of an apartment take only a very small risk, as the landlord is ultimately responsible for the basic security and operation of the property. As a rule, the tenant does not have to pay for repairs to the structural and technical building structure.

In addition, tenants benefit from a high degree of flexibility, since rental contracts can be terminated at relatively short notice in order to adapt their own living situation to changing living conditions, from a new career step to family planning and longer stays abroad.

At the same time, tenants also accept that the payment of the monthly rental contributions have no asset-effective function - they only exercise the right to use and live in the landlord's apartment for an unlimited period. At the end of the tenancy, the equivalent value of these payments for the tenant is lost, which is why the real estate agents at Engel & Völkers Germany recommend that every tenant consider buying an apartment.

- With Engel & Völkers you will find a beautiful old apartment for sale in Germany

Buy an apartment in Germany and benefit from long-term advantages

In contrast to a rented apartment, the purchase of a condominium has a lasting effect on your private assets, since you are financing your own apartment rather than someone else's. You can pay off the bank loan that is often necessary for this, so that, as with the rental model, no major one-off payment is necessary - many credit institutions now even offer purchase financing without equity. Depending on the terms of the loan, the monthly charge may even be lower than the respective rental amount, since the currently very low interest rates are usually set lower than the return expectations of landlords. And once the loan has been paid off, you live for a few years, minus any additional costs, repairs and tax levies for property owners.

Buying a condominium in Germany offers even more advantages than renting: As a property owner, you always have the freedom to make visual or technical changes within the apartment without having to get your landlord's consent.

If at some point you decide to move out of your condominium again, you can sell it and get back the amount you invested (or even more thanks to the increase in value). Or you can rent the apartment yourself and benefit from an additional source of income. For many buyers, the possibility of inheriting the property in question and thus leaving secure relationships for their own descendants or other relatives also plays a significant role.

Taking into account all these advantages, buying a condominium in Germany can prove to be a much more sensible decision compared to long-term rent. Ultimately, however, it depends on your personal life situation, your professional situation and your future plans which model you should prefer. Your real estate agent Engel & Völkers is your ideal contact for both purchase and rental matters: We have a high-quality range of exclusive apartments for sale and rent throughout Germany that meet the highest demands. We would also be happy to advise you personally on which living solution is currently the most suitable for you - just give us a call or write an email. The real estate agent team at Engel & Völkers Germany looks forward to an interesting discussion with you!

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Engel & Völkers - Real estate in Germany

Real estate investing in Germany, whether it's for private or commercial use, can be a highly rewarding venture. We've been operating in the this real estate market for over 30 years, and have offered commercial brokerage services since 1988. Our specialist shops are staffed by advisors that are always on hand to help you find the perfect space, be it for business or personal investment. If you’re seeking real estate in Germany, then read on for valuable insight.

Property for sale in Germany

The residential real estate market in Germany, particularly the premium side, is currently performing very well. We only deal with high-end properties, and are perfectly placed to help you find your dream house for sale in Germany. The commercial sector is well suited for rental investments in particular, with office properties in high demand. If you're looking for a strong return on investment when you sell property in Germany, our teams can ensure you locate the right retail, office or industrial space for your portfolio.

Residential properties in Germany

The cities dominate the German residential markets. Berlin remains one of the highest-value areas, as does Munich. However, you'll find plenty of premium houses for sale in Germany out in the countryside too. If you're considering real estate investing, then high-end properties will offer you the greatest returns, especially in the current climate. We ensure that our portfolio contains only the very best property for sale in Germany, so you don't have to spend time sorting through lengthy lists of low-value prospects.

1) Buying and selling apartments

Choosing to buy an apartment in Germany, especially in a city, can be a solid investment. Whether you're planning on selling an apartment, living there yourself or renting, now is a great time for the German property market in general. Large exclusive residential complexes are of particularly high value at the moment,and lowering interest rates make this a good time to purchase a residential property too. Berlin is currently a great location for apartment sellers and renters; particularly Berlin-Mitte and Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf where apartments are garnering high prices.

2) Buying and selling houses

Looking to buya house in Germany? Luxury homes are always in demand, especially in urban areas. Earlier this year, we reported that Munich saw the largest increase in value for detached and semi-detached properties inthe Oberföhring district. Stuttgart is also a prime location for upscale property. Our studies found that the sale value of mansions in this area rose dramatically last year. High-end houses are an excellent way to get an impressive return on investment given the current market trends. 

3) Urban and rural properties

One thing to consider if you're looking at investing in real estate in Germany is whether to opt for a rural or urban location. While markets certainly make the most movement in cities and the surrounding areas, there are superb investments to be found in rural locales as well. The current rise in housing prices in urban centres makes it a much better climate for sellers. This is causing an investor trend of moving to second tier cities and more rural areas. Slightly more remote properties are likely to only increase in value as the urban markets stabilise.

Commercial properties in Germany

We apply the same approach to our commercial portfolios in Germany as well. Current trends indicate that it's a great time to invest in a commercial German property, and demand for smaller retail and office spaces is set to increase. This means long-term rental demand is also on the rise. Commercial property investment requires different skills and approaches to residential lettings, which is why our agents know their local markets, be they in Germany or abroad. Ongoing training and analysis ensures our teams can help you with consultation and brokerage as well as buying and selling.

1) Industrial and logistics

As online retail and startups continue to take more of a share of the retail market overall, the demand for storage and logistic space also continues to grow. This means that warehouse space,especially if it's well connected to transport networks, is in demand. If you have an existing facility you wish to sell, then now is a good time. Our experienced team can take you through all the necessary steps. Conversely, if you're looking to buy commercial space as an online retailer or small company, we can help you find the right option for your business. 

2) Office

Also related to the startup boom and increase in online retail is the accompanying demand for office space. Location, however, is growing in importance. Smaller businesses and their employees are more focused than ever on the whereabouts of their workplace, as well as what amenities and cultural locations are within reach. Affluent regions are increasingly becoming the focus of investors for this reason, as well as the fact such areas tend to have lower competition intensity. 

3) Retail properties

Traditional retail properties like shops and outlets are less of a secure investment in the current climate. While online retailers are driving demand for smaller, better-placed offices and logistical space, this is having a backlash on the demand for conventional retail properties in Germany. That said, an increase in sales of retail space is expected according to some sources, which means it's a potentially good climate if you're considering selling yours in order to diversify your investments or alter your existing portfolio.


At Engel &Völkers we pride ourselves on being able to offer transparent, concise and expert advice on real estate in Germany. Have a look at our property insights for inspiration and tips, or contactus today.