The German property market is currently enjoying a winning combination of rising prices and strong demand, with many recent analyses crediting major metropolitan areas for driving this growth. The historic city of Cologne is no exception to this rule: A market report by Engel & Völkers Cologne concluded that rental and sale prices rose in all locations in the first quarter of 2013 compared with the same period in 2012. In sought-after districts such as Marienburg in the south and Lindenthal in the west buyers paid 3.5 million euros for a single-family house. For exclusive apartments in very good locations such as Rheinauhafen prices of up to 9,000 euros per square metre are being reached.
Historically, Germany has been known as a country of renters rather than homeowners, with favourable conditions for tenants often cited as a reason for this preference. However, real estate agents across the country are reporting strong and consistent demand from buyers, fuelled by a strong local economy. Major companies including Lufthansa, Bayer, Ford and Microsoft all have a presence in Cologne, employing a considerable percentage of the 11 million inhabitants of the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area.
Despite the presence of several major multinational corporations, just 5% of buyers in Cologne are foreign nationals, with most of these coming from other European countries. 65% of homebuyers came from the local area, suggesting that those who can afford property are happy to stay in this welcoming western city. The remaining 30% are German nationals from other parts of the country, primarily young professionals and families drawn by appealing career opportunities and bright, modern property investments. The strength of Cologne’s economy has also been credited with catching the attention of institutional investors from across Germany and further afield, who see financial opportunities in the booming housing market.
The city is divided into two parts by the Rhine, with a total of nine official districts. The beautiful Old City, or Altstadt, is in Innenstadt, a central district that the river runs directly through. This is where you'll find most of Cologne's best-known historic sights, including the twelve Romanesque churches, with young professionals congregating at trendy areas like Friesenplatz and Chlodwigplatz in the evenings. Properties here are some of the most sought-after in the city, with prices correspondingly high. On the western bank, the district of Ehrenfeld is popular with families, thanks to the numerous parks and green spaces. There are quick and easy rail connections into the centre, and the presence of movie studios and theatres have helped to give this district a more bohemian ambience. More peaceful than the city centre, properties here are highly valued, with pied-à-terre apartments for international business travellers particularly in demand.
If you’re considering a move to Cologne, Engel & Völkers can help you with your property search. Whether you’re hoping to live in the city centre or are looking for a family home in the suburbs, we're perfectly placed to help you find your perfect home with several established offices in and around the city. For more information or to find your nearest shop, just visit the E&V website.