What does Merkel’s hollow victory mean for the EU?

What does Merkel’s hollow victory mean for the EU?

France Germany Italy Uncategorized
  • Angela Merkel’s fourth term win was not the victory the market was hoping for
  • 13% of voters backed the anti-Euro AFD (Alternative for Germany)
  • Euro trading at 30-day low as a result

Following the twists and turns of 2016, this year started with much apprehension that the populous vote, which saw the surprise Brexit result and Trump’s ascension to the White House, would continue and spread throughout Europe.

First there was the Dutch election, with the controversial anti-EU candidate Geert Wilders at one point fancied to be the winner. As election day got nearer, his popularity amongst the voters vanished and he eventually lost. Big sigh of relief.

Then there was the French general election. Enter Marine Le Pen, another anti-EU politician with very strong right wing beliefs, who promised to call France’s very own referendum on EU membership if she won. She didn’t. Instead, Emmanuel Macron become President and the fear that the plague of populism would spread diminished. The Euro vs the USD skyrocketed on confidence that the EU will live on.

Combined with Mario Draghi’s more hawkish tone in his ECB press conferences, where he dropped hints that the end of the central bank’s net asset purchases may happen sooner rather than later, EUR/USD soared to the highest levels since January 2015.

Of course there was the German election on the horizon but good old Angela would have no problem with that. Right?


On Monday 25 September the market woke up to an Angela Merkel victory, but not the victory she and the market was hoping for.  Mrs Merkel had won a fourth term, however it was her party’s worst result in almost 70 years and she now needs to form a coalition. Not only that but more worrying rival party the AFD (Alternative for Germany), which is very anti-immigration and Islam and indeed the Euro, won 13% of the vote. It’s the first far right party to win a seat in Parliament in more than 40 years.

“Mrs Merkel now has to form a coalition, which won’t be an easy task. Germany could face months of negotiations as one is formed. Whoever is chosen to partner with Merkel will provide the political direction not only for Germany but also the EU and immigration.

“At the same time, Angela Merkel’s weaker positon will also make new efforts to work with French President Emmanuel Macron on Euro-area integration very difficult.”

James Trescothick, Senior Global Strategist, easyMarkets


As news spread of a disappointing victory, the EUR/USD opened with a gap lower, dropping from Fridays closing price of 1.19473 to 1.19143.  It continued to decline in both the European and North America sessions and as of the time of writing is trading at a 30 day low of 1.18145.  The EUR/GBP came under further pressure and as time of writing is currently trading around 0.87618.

After concerns of the Dutch and French elections vanished there was hope that political stability in the bloc was pretty secure and the surprises that were experienced and shocked the market in 2016 had gone, but Sunday’s election outcome has once again filled the air with uncertainty.

“This sudden turn in AFD winning as much as 13% of vote (bearing in mind the party itself only came into existence five years ago) shows that there is a swathe of voters upset with Merkel’s stance on immigration. It underlines that one of the great dangers to the European Union is indeed politics and general elections. In the current climate they have become incredibly unpredictable and dangerous to its actual existence.  AFD’s success in the election goes to show that the fear of immigration is still being used as a key tool in the black art of politics to cause upset and surprise.”

James Trescothick, Senior Global Strategist, easyMarkets


Italy’s general election is due by the end of May 2018. There are concerns that Northern League and the Five Star Movement – both Eurosceptic parties – could fare quite well.  The Five Star movement is gaining momentum in the opinion polls and the Northern League recently won local elections in Genoa and L’Aquila.

Italy’s economy the third biggest in the Eurozone is shaky at best with 11% unemployment and national debt at 133% of GDP. There is also a fascinating debate in Italy about the country stepping away from the Euro and introducing a parallel currency alongside it.

“Though the end of May seems a long way away, you may certainly expect the market to start to focus on this general election. With what happened in Germany at the weekend, you may expect bouts of uncertainty about the outcome and how it will affect the European Union.

“The feel good factor that was felt across the bloc after Emmanuel Macron’s election victory seems to have diminished. Though the Euro is still currently enjoying a bull run, which started following Macron’s win in France, the fear and concern which the market felt at the beginning of the year could start to return as we see out 2017 and prepare for what 2018 will throw at us.”

James Trescothick, Senior Global Strategist, easyMarkets

For further details, visit www.easymarkets.com, email pr@easymarkets.com or call +44 203 1500 748.


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The year the world moved to Berlin

The year the world moved to Berlin

  • Berlin apartment prices up 21% in a year (CBRE)
  • City population growing at twice the rate expected (Berlin Senate)
  • Berlin one of top European residential property investment hotspots for 2016 (Property Frontiers)

25 years ago, the world watched in wonder as the first pieces of the Berlin wall came down and the broken city began a long healing process to make it whole once more. Now, no longer content to view this vibrant city from afar, it seems the world has decided to move to Berlin!

The Berlin senate revealed over the summer of 2015 that the city’s growth is double the rate that city planners had expected and prepared for. Berlin’s population was expected to swell by 250,000 people between 2011 and 2030. Now, city planners believe that number will be added by 2019. In 2014 alone, the population grew by 44,700.

City development senator Andreas Geisel has described the growth as “a great blessing” but it has also put pressure on infrastructure, with the need for housing increasingly sharply as a result.

For owners of residential property in Berlin, the city’s newfound popularity has led to some interesting developments. CBRE’s Global living: A city by city guide reports that average values for apartment buildings have risen by 21% in a single year. Rents have also shot up, by 5.7% over the past year (compared with 3.6% nationally).

Ray Withers, CEO of specialist property investment company Property Frontiers, which is offering high specification buy-to-let apartments in the city at Stadtpark Steglitz from €153,670, comments,

“We’re seeing some rapid shifts in Berlin’s property market after almost two decades of very little activity. It’s an exciting time to be part of the market there and property investors around the world are looking to Berlin as one of Europe’s top residential real estate investment destinations. Berlin looks set to be one of Europe’s most dominant cities during 2016 so far as residential investment is concerned.”

As well as a vibrant arts scene and rapidly growing reputation as Europe’s hottest start-up hub, Berlin offers a low cost of living compared to many European cities. Rents are less than a quarter of the price they are in London: around £405 in Berlin compared to £2,080 in the English capital, according to CBRE. At the same time, the city’s economy is growing (CBRE cites projected growth of 2.6% for 2015) at a strong and sustainable pace.

With 81.2% of the city’s population opting to rent their property (compared with 51.3% nationally) Berlin represents a huge opportunity for buy-to-let investors looking to pick up a residential investment in a European hotspot. The high spec apartments at Stadtpark Steglitz present the perfect opportunity, located in an affluent area of the south western part of the city, with up to 5.6% yield and excellent capital growth expected.

For further details, visit www.propertyfrontiers.com or call the team on +44 1865 202 700.

Berlin is booming as the German capital enjoys its time to shine

Berlin is booming as the German capital enjoys its time to shine

  • Berlin rated top 2015 investment prospect (PWC)
  • Residential property investment topped €2.2 billion in H1 2015 (JLL)
  • 20,000 new homes needed this year in Berlin to meet demand (Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development)

The face of Berlin is changing. The German capital is increasingly becoming seen as Europe’s go-to city for bright young things, creative start-ups and anyone who’s anyone in the tech sector. In addition to its business offering, it has a thriving social scene, a great retail offering and a vast array of cultural attractions.

Such a dynamic business environment with strong demand for rental properties has begun to attract serious numbers of investors to Berlin. According to the PWC Emerging Trends in Real Estate Europe 2015 report, the city was rated the top for investment prospects in 2015. Such is the popularity of Berlin’s combination of inexpensive assets and development opportunities that it has knocked Munich off the top spot. Furthermore, Berlin now stands as Europe’s third most active real estate market, according to the PWC data.

Ray Withers, CEO of specialist property investment company Property Frontiers, spotted Berlin’s potential some time ago. Property Frontiers is offering investment at Stadtpark Steglitz, located in one of south west Berlin’s affluent areas. The residential apartments are perfectly suited to Berlin’s young, ambitious population, offering modern living solutions with open plan, spacious living areas. Prices start from €153,670, with gross yields up to 5.6% realistically expected and no capital gains tax if the property is held from more than 10 years.

Ray Withers comments,

“Berlin is racing ahead of other European cities in terms of its ability to attract young, talented entrepreneurs and the impact of these bright young things on the city’s demographics is far from negligible. They’re breathing new life into Berlin and drawing in investment capital from around the globe.”

According to JLL, residential properties in Berlin attracted more than €2.2 billion of investment during H1 2015, up more than four times on the same period in 2014. Demand for property is high as a result of the city’s growing population. According to the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development, 20,000 new homes are needed this year in order to keep up with demand. Yet in Berlin, as in many other cities in Germany and across Europe, supply is struggling to keep pace with demand.

The situation presents one of those fantastic investment opportunities that is perfect for real estate investors looking for a hands-off property investment in a hotspot that is packed with potential. The volume of new start-ups, tech and media companies in Berlin promises big things for the city’s future and savyy investors are racing to be part of the action.

For further details, visit www.propertyfrontiers.com or call the team on +44 1865 202 700.

Planet property: Global house price report highlight’s world’s real estate hotspots

Planet property: Global house price report highlight’s world’s real estate hotspots

Germany United Kingdom United States
  • Global house prices rising at 4.7% per year (Economist House Price Index)
  • UK, US and Germany highlighted as real estate hotspots (Property Frontiers)
  • Output rising across entire UK construction sector (Markit/CIPS UK construction PMI)

The Economist House Price Index is one of the most important reports when it comes to providing a snapshot of the health of the world’s real estate markets. The latest report, released in October 2015, paints a largely positive picture of the planet’s property. Of the 26 markets studied, prices are rising in 21 of them, at a median pace of 4.7% per year.

Knowing where to invest

“Data such as this is key when it comes to knowing where to invest,” comments Ray Withers, CEO of specialist property investment company Property Frontiers. “It’s encouraging to see that the UK, the US and Germany are all enjoying sustained price rises. It shows how sensible our clients have been in investing in buy-to-let properties in those countries.”

Looking at the UK

House prices in the UK have been rising since Q2 2009, albeit with a few bumps along the way, according to the Economist’s report. Nationally they’ve risen by 11.5% in Britain between then and Q4 2014. The new-found confidence in the market has seen construction pick up pace, with the latest Markit/CIPS UK construction PMI reporting rising output across all parts of the industry in September 2015 – the 28th month in a row that the sector has been creating jobs. All of which is great news for property investors looking for a stable market.

One area of the UK that is firmly on buy-to-let investors’ maps is Manchester, and in particular Salford Quays. The area is booming and developments like Custom Quay, where the 60 one and two bedroom duplex apartments are available for investment from £127,000 with 8.4% expected yield, are attracting investors keen to be a part of the city’s bright future.

Heading across the pond

Over in the US, the figures paint a different picture, but one that is equally interesting from an investment perspective. Though prices have broadly been rising since Q1 2012, they remain some 22.4% below their peak value in 2006. For property investors, this means the chance to invest in real estate that could well increase in value at quite a pace over the years ahead.

At Chandler Oaks in South Carolina, just 45 minutes from the huge financial hub of Charlotte over the border in North Carolina, the potential for returns is certainly exciting, with investment from $48,671 and a minimum of 11.4% gross yield for two bed apartments. Fully tenanted and fully managed by a local property management company, the development is proving extremely popular, with 70% of the apartments already snapped up.

Buy-to-let in Berlin

Back in Europe, Germany is another country that is the focus of buy-to-let investors’ attention. The market in Berlin has some interesting characteristics, including rising rents (even with rent controls in place) and low property prices. Stadtpark Steglitz is a collection of studio, one, two and three bedroom apartments spread across three buildings in the south west of Berlin. Investment prices start from €109,000, with gross yields up to 5.6% realistically expected.

According to the Economist’s House Price Index report, home values in Germany were largely immune to the global financial crisis that started in 2006/07. In fact, prices there have remained fairly stable since the mid-1990s. It is only since around Q1 2009 that they have begun to rise steeply. Between then and Q4 2014, house prices shot up by 22.8% in Germany, delighting those who had already invested in property there and causing other investors to pay cities like Berlin some serious attention.

For further details, visit www.propertyfrontiers.com or call the team on +44 1865 202 700.

Berlin’s rent cap: 5 reasons why landlords are still onto a winner

Berlin’s rent cap: 5 reasons why landlords are still onto a winner

  • Rents in Berlin up by 9% in 2013/14 (JLL)
  • New rent cap allows for 20% rent increase every 3 years
  • 20k new properties needed in Berlin every year (JLL)

Berlin is the first city in Germany to introduce a cap on what landlords can charge new tenants. The rent-control legislation has come into force in a bid to control some of the fastest rising rents in Europe. As a result, landlords in Berlin are now limited to raise rents by no more than 10 per cent above the local market average; a cap that was already in place for existing tenants but, under the new rules, has been extended to new tenants too.

Between 2013 – 2014 rents in Berlin increased by more than 9% according to Jones Lang LaSalle – making the capital home to some of the fastest-rising rents in Europe.

But whilst the rent controls are bound to bring extra stability for tenants, what does the cap mean for landlords? Here are five reasons why investing in Berlin means landlords are still onto a winner:

  1. Tenants stay for longer

Rent controls discourage tenants from moving frequently because they have more certainty that prices will not rise too steeply, too fast. German tenancies are typically long anyway – in fact, they are generally open-ended. For landlords, this means that tenants can stay in their apartments for decades on the same contract – eliminating the cost and hassle of finding new tenants every 2-3 years, as is typical in the UK.

  1. Substantial rental increases every 3 years

The cap means that rental increases will be restricted to 20% within three years, unless an event such as modernisation of the property has taken place that warrants an earlier increase. However, as any experienced investor will tell you, a 20% increase every 3 years is still considered a substantial gain.

  1. New build properties are excluded from the rent cap

Many investors are switching their focus to new builds in Berlin, which are excluded from the rent cap, such as the brand new buy-to-let opportunity at Stadtpark Steglitz from leading buy-to-let specialists Property Frontiers. The collection of studios, one, two and three bed apartments has been hugely popular amongst those looking for excellent capital growth potential and as new build apartments are excluded from the rent cap, it means landlords can maintain a healthy rental income.

  1. Berlin’s housing market continues to thrive

Despite the rental cap, investors can still expect their buy-to-let property to get snapped up quickly, due to high demand for accommodation thanks to a growing population and shortage of properties available. According to estimates by Jones Lang LaSalle, at least 20,000 new apartments p.a. will be required over the next few years to return equilibrium to the residential market.

  1. Keeps the city affordable

Although rents in Berlin are still low compared to other European cities, the rent cap is vital to keep the city affordable for lower-income residents. The rent cap will ensure that Berlin does not become another priced-out city like London or Paris, both of which are forcing tenants with lower incomes to seek properties outside the city because they simply cannot afford the rent in prime areas. The rent cap will maintain a healthy rental market and should not have a dampening effect on new build properties.

For further details, visit www.propertyfrontiers.com or call the team on +44 1865 202 700.

From renters to buyers – what Germany’s national shift in perspective means for overseas investors

From renters to buyers – what Germany’s national shift in perspective means for overseas investors

  • Just 18% of Berlin’s residents own their property (Buy Berlin)
  • Berlin rents up 9% from 2013 to 2014 (JLL)
  • Low entry point of €109,600 attracting global interest in buy-to-let (Property Frontiers)

“When you look at a property investment, always think it through to the end. Know your exit strategy from day one.”

Sage advice from Ray Withers, Chief Executive of leading property investment specialists Property Frontiers. Withers has been at the helm of the company for over a decade, overseeing successful client investments in properties around the world. The company’s latest offering, the high spec collection of studio, one, two and three bedroom apartments at Stadtpark Steglitz in Berlin, provides an excellent illustration of Withers’ point.

Germany – and in particular Berlin – has been a nation of renters for decades. According to Buy Berlin, just 18% of the city’s residents are owner-occupiers due to the housing subsidy legacy of the old East German government. Across the country, ownership remains low, with only around half of Germans owning a home. The only country with a lower home ownership rate in Europe is Switzerland.

However, a national shift in perspective has created an interesting change in the makeup of Berlin’s residential population. Now, increasing numbers of renters are becoming buyers, giving the property market a new lease of life. Michael Schlatterer of CBRE Germany comments,

“There is a shift towards owner-occupation, that’s for sure. You can see that the trajectory for condominium purchases is going up.”

Rent rises are one of the factors behind the new German interest in buying property. According to Jones Lang LaSalle, rents in Berlin have risen from €5.50 per square metre in 2005 to €9 per square metre in 2014. From 2013 to 2014 alone, rents rose by more than 9%. While Berlin has responded by introducing a rent cap, many tenants have already had their heads turned by the prospect of property ownership.

Continuing low interest rates across Europe and Eurozone-related uncertainties have also caused many Germans to look at buying property, as they seek out the best ways to make their savings work for them in this post-Great Recession world. Andrew Groom of Jones Lang LaSalle comments,

“We’re at the start of a re-pricing period of anywhere between two to five years. Prices in Germany have tended to be stable for long periods of time, and have then been driven by bigger macro-economic political events. We’re going through a macro-economic situation now, which is driving Germans back into bricks and mortar.”

This shift in national attitudes across Germany has served to create an interesting opportunity for overseas investors in cities like Berlin. As the housing market takes on a new dynamic, buy-to-let properties like Stadtpark Steglitz have become increasingly appealing, with the more active market offering a realistic exit strategy. Apartments there are available from €109,600, with gross yields up to 5.6%. Property Frontiers’ Ray Withers comments,

“We’re experiencing a real upturn in demand from investors for property in Germany and in particular in the capital. As the Berlin market shifts its focus, international investors are seeing a new and realistic exit strategy open up before them. Combined with the stability of Germany as an investment prospect, Berlin has quickly become one of the most exciting residential property investment destinations in Europe.”

For further details, visit www.propertyfrontiers.com or call the team on +44 1865 202 700.

Why Berlin is Europe’s best bet

Why Berlin is Europe’s best bet

  • Prime residential real estate prices up 9% in Berlin (Knight Frank)
  • Berlin population increases by 1.5% in 2 years (Economist)
  • 40k new companies per year founded in Berlin (CBRE)

The largest national economy in Europe, Germany ranks 16th in the world in the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom, which considers matters such as fiscal freedom, government spending and investment freedom. Germany’s highest scores in the ranking were for property rights and investment freedom. Combined with a booming property market, swift growth in cities such as Berlin and intense demand for rental accommodation, this is serving to make buy-to-let investments in Germany some of the most exciting in Europe.

According to the Knight Frank Prime International Residential Index (PIRI), city markets are performing so well of late that they have even outperformed second home sun and ski destinations. The PIRI tracks annual price changes in 100 city and second home locations and found that Germany’s leading cities were enjoying significant prime residential real estate price rises, with Berlin at 9%, Munich at 8% and Frankfurt at 7.5%.

Ray Withers, Chief Executive of leading property investment specialists Property Frontiers, explains,

“Germany has long been a nation of renters, with low rents creating some fantastic city communities. Berlin, in particular, is known for its vibrant neighbourhoods packed with artists, students and hip, young professionals. Of late though, low interest rates across Europe have encouraged Germans to turn to property as a more profitable alternative to savings accounts. With interest from international investors picking up as well, rents are on the rise and the buy-to-let market has become increasingly appealing.”

Against a background of rising property prices (the Economist reported an increase of 20.3% in Germany in the five years to Q4 2014), Berlin has experienced rapid population growth. Its population grew by 1.5% between 2011 and 2013, to 3.422 million. In 2013, a further 50,000 new residents arrived in the city.

New arrivals are flocking to districts within the S-Bahn urban railway catchment area, avoiding the centre in order to balance rent levels with better availability of residential space. Steglitz-Zehlendorf is a prime example. Home to one of Berlin’s most attractive commercial districts, Schlossstrase, which is packed with shops and restaurants, the green and leafy neighbourhood is drawing in wealthy professionals and well-to-do families looking to rent high quality homes.

It is also home to Stadtpark Steglitz, a contemporary development of stylish apartments named after the 17 hectare city park of the same name, which is one of the area’s most attractive features. The development is spread across three buildings (one refurbished and two newly built) and includes apartments ranging from studios to three bedrooms. Prices start from €109,600, with gross yields up to 5.6%.

According to the CBRE/Berlin Hyp Housing Market Report Berlin 2015, the employment market and incomes in Berlin are growing in tandem with the city’s economy. Berlin Hyp AG management board member Gero Bergmann succinctly sums up the city’s current position,

“All in all, Berlin is one of the most exciting and, in many respects, most promising locations in Europe.”

Woven through the city’s economic success are strong industrial and entrepreneurial strands. Industrialists accounted for 105,000 of Berlin’s jobs while 40,000 new companies are founded there per year, according to the CBRE.

Over the past decade, Berlin has transformed from one of Germany’s worst-performing regions to its most exciting success story. Economic growth is continuing to draw in new residents with a hunger for a bright future from across the country, and indeed from other countries too. Berlin’s time is now and savvy property investors are queuing up to be a part of its future.

As the Telegraph recently concluded,

“Berlin is a ‘no-brainer’ for British property buyers.”

For further details, visit www.propertyfrontiers.com or call the team on +44 1865 202 700.


Top of the Props: Buyers bank on German property



Buyers are banking on German property again, TheMoveChannel.com´s Top of the Props reveals.

Spain remained the most popular destination for real estate in August thanks to a large number of distressed properties on the market, but the Euro recession brought equal success for Germany, which jumped six places to join TheMoveChannel.com´s Top 10.

Germany has long been regarded as a safe haven in Europe´s uncertain economy. Indeed, it is no coincidence that as Moody´s lowers its ratings for Europe, German property generated almost double the number of enquiries from overseas buyers than in the previous month. The country was the ninth most popular destination on the site in August, leapfrogging Greece as well as July´s big climber Bulgaria.

Germany´s surge was accompanied by another rising star: Malta. The tiny island rose four places from 12th to sit just above Germany in the chart. The growth in popularity marked each country´s second appearance in TheMoveChannel.com´s Top 10 within the past 12 months, as investors bank on familiar property markets that have resisted recession. 

And buyers are going back to them in bigger numbers: Germany was last in the Top 10 in September 2011, accounting for 2.19 per cent of the portal´s enquiries. Now, almost one year later, that figure has grown to 2.38 per cent. Similarly, Malta´s share of activity has gone from 2.59 per cent in May 2012 to 2.68 per cent in August.

Director Dan Johnson comments: "It´s hard to remember a time when real estate headlines were not overshadowed by the Eurozone crisis. The recession has meant different things for different countries. Despite Spain´s poor financial outlook, international buyers have seized the chance to snap up bargain holiday homes along the Costas. Germany, on the other hand, has made no political friends in outlining its plans for the single currency, but its economic authority has boosted its profile for real estate investors. While other European countries worry about debt levels and falling house prices, Germany now faces rising property values thanks to high demand.

"The result is a mixed bag for overseas buyers, but once they have chosen a property market to bank with, they clearly like to stay loyal. It´s telling that time and time again, the Top of the Props chart is dominated by European destinations. Real estate headlines will only stop being overshadowed by the Eurozone when buyers lose interest in its property.  And judging by the repeated popularity of Germany and Malta, that won´t be any time soon."

The full breakdown of the Top 40 is as follows:

Notes to Editors

Founded in 1999, TheMoveChannel.com is the leading independent website for international property, with than 400,000 listings in over 100 countries around the world, marketed on behalf of agents, developers and private owners.

The website address is http://www.TheMoveChannel.com and the office address is 24 Jack’s Place, Corbet Place, Spitalfields, London, E1 6NN.

Contact Dan Johnson on 0207 952 7650 for further information.

Infographic – At a Glance: Germany


Berlin is the big boy in Germany´s property market, according to the latest At A Glance infographic from TheMoveChannel.com. The infographic, based on activity on the property portal over the last 12 months, shows that over half of buyers looking for property in Germany head straight to the capital city state.

Berlin dominated demand from investors, taking over 55.38 per cent of enquiries for German real estate on the site between July 2011 and June 2012. Saxony was the second most popular region, accounting for 21.09 per cent of enquiries.

Together, the two areas outpaced the rest of the country, accounting for over three-quarters of buyer enquiries. Indeed, the closest contender was third-place Bremen, which only took 5.96 per cent of enquiries in the last year; not even one-tenth of Berlin´s total.

The capital also leads the way for location searches on the site, with 41.19 per cent of buyers beginning their hunt by looking for real estate in Berlin. Given the popularity of Saxony property, it is no surprise that the region´s two biggest cities, Leipzig and Dresden, are in the top 10 searched-for locations too. Indeed, Leipzig accounted for 9.62 per cent of searches, the second highest after Berlin. Together, these top two locations were the target of over half of German-based searches on the site.

The At a Glance series also analyses property buyers´ search behaviour on Google over the last 12 months. The period between June and August is when buyer activity visibly peaks, but the infographic reveals a striking preference for "villas for sale in Germany" and "apartments for sale in Germany"; a rare instance of when houses are the not the most popular type of property in a European country.

Indeed, "houses for sale in Germany" featured in almost no Google searches at all over the last year, with investors more keen to locate "holiday homes" instead. Nonetheless, apartments and villas proved far more popular, consistently generating over twice as many enquiries as holiday homes.

Editor Ivan Radford comments: "Like many of the traditional lifestyle destinations, Germany´s property market appears driven by a core group of regions. This gives the impression of a vacation-driven market, something supported by the number of Google searches for holiday homes. With the eurozone crisis spreading uncertainty through more familiar countries, are people turning to Germany´s stable economy for their second homes? Or are they looking for a real estate investment with a more reliable return? The number of tourist hotspots, such as Frankfurt and Stuttgart, in the top 10 searched-for cities could suggest either, but it´s easy to see that Berlin´s strong property market is beneficial for both types of buyers.

"It´s no surprise, then, to see the capital far out in front across the chart. Indeed, the high number of enquiries within the city state suggests that investors are not only looking specifically for property in Berlin – but more importantly, that they´re finding what they´re looking for."

Click here to see the full infographic.

Notes to Editors

Founded in 1999, TheMoveChannel.com is the leading independent website for international property, with than 400,000 listings in over 100 countries around the world, marketed on behalf of agents, developers and private owners.

The website address is http://www.themovechannel.com and the office address is 24 Jack´s Place, Corbet Place, Spitalfields, London, E1 6NN.

Contact Dan Johnson on 0207 952 7650 for further information.


Top of the Props: Germany gains buyers’ trust


Germany is earning property buyers’ trust, this month’s Top of the Props report from TheMoveChannel.com suggests. Germany has entered the top ten most popular property destinations for the first time ever, as the country offers a reassuringly stable market for investors.

Germany jumped four places in the overseas property portal’s rankings to take the tenth spot, joining the familiar faces of Spain, France, Portugal and the USA. Germany accounted for 2.19 per cent of all enquiries received by TheMoveChannel.com in September, replacing the small island of Cape Verde, which dropped 12 places after its surprise entry into the top ten last month.

Unlike the short-term surge of interest in Cape Verde’s smaller economy, the popularity of German property has been growing for some time. An established member of the Eurozone, Germany has been consistently drawing more enquiries from investors for three months in a row, rising seven places in TheMoveChannel.com’s chart since July.

Director Dan Johnson comments: “The high yields and low prices have long made German real estate a recognised investment for property buyers, but it seems that the wider climate of uncertainty across Europe is pushing buyers to consider more stable markets, such as Germany.

"Consumer debt is relatively low and the inherently more cautious banks are somewhat less likely to get drawn into the debt crisis than their European counterparts and it´s maybe this longer term security that is inspiring confidence in buyers.”

Berlin Capital Investments explained Germany’s growing appeal: “The property market has shown investors that there is a safe and secure option in Europe. Berlin property prices have grown 7 per cent in the last 12 months and this coupled with a strong demand for high class rental apartments make Berlin a very attractive investment opportunity.”

With interest in Europe’s traditional markets on the up, the newest member of TheMoveChannel.com´s top ten is a sign that trust is returning to some areas of the Eurozone.

The full breakdown of the top 40 is as follows: 


Notes to Editors

Founded in 1999, TheMoveChannel.com is the leading independent website for international property, with than 400,000 listings in over 100 countries around the world, marketed on behalf of agents, developers and private owners.

The website address is http://www.TheMoveChannel.com and the office address is 45 Lafone Street, Shad Thames, London, SE1 2LX.

Contact Dan Johnson on 0207 952 7650 for further information.