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Moving to Hamburg: what you need to know

The housing market in Germany’s metropolitan areas is booming, and Hamburg is no different. Deutsche Bank forecasts strong and steady rental and house price growth, with lower potential volatility than rivals like Munich and Frankfurt. Best of all, Hamburg has been actively improving amenities. The city is attracting larger numbers of leisure and business travellers year on year, and life is improving for locals as a result. Moving to Hamburg now looks more attractive than ever.

Puigcerdà - If you’re moving to Hamburg, we’ve got all the essential property information you need.(Credit_ Engel&Völkers Market Center Elbe)

The cost of moving to Hamburg

Hamburg doesn’t suffer from the housing shortage that has troubled renters and buyers in Munich and Frankfurt, so house-hunting can happen at a more leisurely pace. However, the market is still rising, so good deals are likely to be snapped up. As a rough guideline, you should expect to pay rent of around €18.00 per square metre for properties in prime locations. This falls to approximately €13 - 15 per square metre for a property in a comfortable suburban area or in an up-and-coming district.

Moving to Hamburg as a foreigner

There are no restrictions on foreign buyers renting or purchasing property in Germany. However, non-European investors are not automatically given the right to a permanent residence. So you, or your employer, will need to have the relevant residency permits organised in order to live and work in Hamburg.

One thing to remember – wherever you're renting in Germany – is that letting agents distinguish between ‘Warmmiete’ (rent that includes heating, water and electricity) and ‘Kaltmiete’ (no bills included). When you sign a lease, you’ll also need to factor in the cost of of a ‘Kaution’ – a deposit that’s usually two to three times the monthly Kaltmiete.

Hamburg's districts

Living in Hamburg is very different in each of the city’s districts. Each will suit a different lifestyle, so take some time to familiarise yourself with them before making a decision.

The areas just to the west of the Alster lakes, including Harvestehude and Rotherbaum, are among the most desirable in the city. They contain many of the few surviving Tudor-style buildings and pre-war mansions, and offer quick access to the amenities of bustling urban districts like St Pauli and the Hamburg Mitte.

Hamburg is also renowned as one of Europe’s greenest cities. To take advantage of the cleaner, quieter life, you could consider the reasonably priced districts further west, including Eimsbüttel and Altona.

Living in Hamburg

Wherever you choose to settle, the Hamburg Public Transport Network (HVV) operates a comprehensive network of rail, bus and ferry services across the city and its surroundings. If you’re somewhere central, you can even join the rising number of locals who travel by bicycle.

There’s plenty of reason to explore the city too. For exclusive stores and restaurants, as well as Art Nouveau frescoes, the Alsterarkaden Shopping Arcades are wonderful. The city is also home to dozens of museums that range from local history to global arts and crafts.

If you’re considering moving to Hamburg to set up a second home, you may also want to investigate which areas offer best access to these tourist sites. Getting these details right will impact your potential second income stream, if you choose to let your property to visitors – an experienced real estate agent like Engel & Völkers can help with this.

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