A former mayor of Germany’s vibrant capital city once referred to Berlin as “poor but sexy” – a slogan reflecting the comparatively low cost of living.
These days, however, one need only try searching for an affordable apartment to discover that the “poor” part of that identity is rapidly changing. An influx of new people, like students looking for a cheaper study destination and young professionals attracted by the strong job market, has helped make Berlin one of the fastest-growing real estate markets in the world and contributed to rapid increases in rent prices.
According to a recent study from the real estate portal Immowelt, monthly rents in Berlin have more than doubled in the last 10 years alone: from 5.60 euros (£4.90, $6.40) per sq m in 2008 to 11.40 euros in 2018. Though overall rents remain lower than in other major German cities like Munich or Frankfurt, that’s an increase of 103%, higher than anywhere else in the country. Rent prices vary greatly based on neighbourhood, but 2017 statistics show that a one-bedroom apartment in some of the city’s more desirable neighborhoods can average upwards of 1,000 euros per month.