Foreign investors go treasure hunting on Berlin property market (DE)

The real estate market in Berlin is booming – with demand increasing from foreign investors in particular. Liegenschaftsfonds Berlin, a subsidiary of the state of Berlin that markets state-owned properties, has been seeing clear evidence of this trend in recent months. According to the company's Managing Director, Holger Lippmann, "Berlin has a reputation as one of the most creative cities in Europe. With its enormous potential and comparatively low real estate prices, the Berlin market is extremely attractive for foreign investors. Recently we've seen a rise in demand for luxury residential properties."

Villa Mendel at the lake Kleiner Wannsee.

A good example is Villa Mendel at the lake Kleiner Wannsee in the south-western part of the city. Approximately 3000 m² in size, the villa is situated on a property of over 11,000 m². It is located at Am Sandwerder 37 in Berlin-Zehlendorf. A district with many trees, parks, and lakes, Zehlendorf is one of Berlin's most prestigious neighbourhoods. "The exclusive location, a mooring in the marina and 62 metres of lakeshore make this property truly special," says Lippmann. "What the papers say: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are looking for a residence in Berlin. I'm sure they would feel right at home here." The villa is situated on a quiet residential street and there are numerous opportunities for water sports and a golf club in the vicinity. The cultural venues and shopping districts in the city centre are only minutes away by car or public transportation.

Currently used as a country hostel for school trips, the building is of historical interest as well. Built in 1892 according to plans by the Berlin architect Albert Brandt, the three-storey structure features an interior designed by Walter Gropius in 1921. Reconstruction measures were undertaken in the 1980s. The building was since designated an architectural monument and is part of a listed ensemble. The property will be sold free of commission in an unconditional bidding process opened on Tuesday, 7 August. Anyone interested is welcome to submit a bid; the sale goes to the highest bidder.

Recent sales include eight properties located in Diplomatenpark, an exclusive residential complex in Berlin's embassy quarter. Overall, Liegenschaftsfonds Berlin sold over one million m² of real estate with a total worth of €160.8 million in the first six months of 2007 – over €85 million more than in the same period last year. Since Liegenschaftsfonds was founded, it has contributed over €1 billion in revenues to the state coffers of Berlin.

With over 5,000 properties in all parts of Berlin – comprising commercial, mixed-use, industrial, residential and special-use properties for private purchasers and project developers – Liegenschaftsfonds Berlin has the most extensive real estate portfolio in Germany's capital city. The company manages and markets properties owned by the state of Berlin, and sells them free of commission. A fully-owned subsidiary of the State of Berlin, Liegenschaftsfonds Berlin employs a staff of 130, with Holger Lippmann as Managing Director.

Source: Liegenschaftsfonds Berlin

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