Archive for the 'Real Estate Bubbles' Category

against gentrification

Gentrification, the double-edged sword. At the beginning it makes the neighborhood (=Kiez) cool. Then it kills it with SUVs, too many wine bars and the disappearance of bakeries, normal supermarkets, haberdashery and Kneipe. Have a look to YGG

Still I guess that there are well-equipped Kiez in Berlin, who will not let the developers turn them into social deserts like the Parisian Marais. In the 90s it was fabulous and a little bit seedy, now it’s sanitized and desertificated. At 8pm cardboards are piled in front of the boutiques, and that’s it.

PS

check out the Guardian’s article here

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3 years later…

Three years have gone by since we bought our flat in Berlin (the first one).

What happened in the meantime?

On a parallel street a new building in neo-bauhaus style has just been built. Prices for these new properties vary from 3,500 to 5,000 Eur per square meter. Well, there is so much real estate worth renewing in Berlin that new buildings could be avoided, right…still the prices tells something about the direction the market has taken in Berlin during the crisis.

The construction company who carryed over the refurbishing of our flat is always as busy. Business did not slow down for them, they are excellent craftsmen after all. Refurbishing of existing buildings in the Kiez carries on, both on Wilmersdorf’s side and on Kreuzberg’s side.

The Kiez has not over-gentrified in the meantime, and that is good. Across the townhall I’ve spotted a new patisserie and the smith has gone. But maybe he was not a good smith after all…his store was always closed, the service was a bit patchy.

The Kiez did not become fashionable, there are no fancy boutiques and we still have all our bakeries, delightful independent bookstores and stationery shops.

AflatinBerlin on air!

If you understand Italian and want to know more about buying a flat in Berlin, listen to the interview on the Italiansonline WebRadio…please don’t laugh 😀

Click here and get to the mid on the streaming.

“Ich bin ein property investor…”

“…location is even more crucial here than anywhere else. The city always had an unusual structure as a collection of villages, but wartime destruction and Cold War division has left the geography even more out of whack. It’s still very much a bipolar city with two areas offering the most robust safety net for investors: the Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg areas of the former East and the south-western neighbourhoods of the former West”.

An interesting article on the Irish Times. Yes in real estate “perspective” is everything, especially if you are a value rather than a growth investor. Berlin had it bubbly times in the 90s after the reunification and in the early 2000s…true, in 2006-2007 there were still people hoping to do a quick buck in Berlin but I would say confined to a few overpriced areas…the big bubble had burst years before. On location, my favourite theme of discussion, the author is very effective in describing the issue in Berlin. Click on the title for being re-directed to the Irish Times article.

Ich bin ein property investor: is it the right time to buy in Berlin?

Twenty years after the fall of the Wall and after two property bubbles, prospects for the Berlin market are steady, Irish developers operating there tell Derek Scally.

One year later…1 candle on the cake!

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One year ago we started this blog. Two main reasons: to report about our “flat in Berlin” experience. And to keep track of our renovation adventure, which had just started and needed a bit of a public kick – an official timekeeper online!

One year later, we are going to spend soon our first ever real holiday in our flat in Berlin, having dedicated 1/4 of our weekends in the past 12 months to blitz-trips to Berlin in order to follow the renovation works, sort out paperwork, choose tiles, buy furniture and make the flat feel like our home in Berlin.

One year later, and 3/4 of a global financial crisis later, we’re happy about our choice. It is true, other real estate markets plunged so deep that now there are several “cheap” real estate markets in the world. But we were not just looking for a bottom-fishing real estate opportunity, we wanted something very specific: an apartment with good bones in Schöneberg at a reasonable price, not a seaside flat in Spain or a maisonette in England. In the meantime, garage prices in Rome plunged by 3%. Maybe the Italian real estate market will undergo a correction one day, but the reality is, a 1-car garage in Rome still costs more than a flat in one of the nicest areas of Berlin. Period. Continue reading ‘One year later…1 candle on the cake!’

Berlin, the anxious punk…

Now that’s what I call a well-documented analysis. The Irish Times reports on Berlin, the fractured metropolis. The anxious punk?

Graveyard of ambitions?

A collection of individuals pursuing their interesting paths outside national ghettos?

A local management culture difficult to grasp?

A city attracting people who don’t know what to do next?

Or a place where – if you know what you want and fight for it in an equally disciplined way as you would do in Paris or London – you can find an unparalleled quality of living (after gray-sky vaccination)?

Find out…

The fractured metropolis?

THE IRISH IN BERLIN

Is Berlin a capital of creativity, as the hype would have you believe, or rather a slacker’s paradise, where every day is a Saturday? DEREK SCALLY talks to some Irish immigrants who have managed to forge careers there.

JOHN LENNON ONCE remarked that life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans. For many Irish, the German capital is a place they never intended to make their home but, to stretch Lennon’s logic, they have found Berlin to be a fine spot to live while making other arrangements.

Continue reading ‘Berlin, the anxious punk…’

Boring, tedious, envious or just plain lazy?

“Gentrification has hit Prenzlauer Berg at a speed unmatched even by the most tarted-up quarters of other European capitals. Ninety per cent of the district’s apartments have been vacated by their original East German inhabitants since the Wall’s fall. They have been replaced by a generation of young Germans who have arrived as rich invaders from the West. The standing joke in Prenzlauer Berg is that the borough is populated exclusively by Swabians from wealthy south-western Germany. Like most jokes, it contains an element of truth”.

This morning I found this article on my virtual shore, the Google tide brought it from The Independent.

A flavor on the pros and cons of gentrified Prenzl’berg. A panoramique on the former-DDR LĂ€nder demographic, economic and neo-nazi problems. All in all not so original. Frankly, I expected something better from the Independent. This piece feels stale, like a “Panorama” article, full of clichĂ©s and made of rechauffĂ© themes.

Or is it just envious? To me, the british society doesn’t seem so “full or harmony” or heavenly homogeneous in terms of economic and social opportunities. Heathrow airport or some stops of the Tube don’t even evoke “poor but sexy” thoughts like some rusty rail platforms in OstBerlin. And there was never an iron curtain in between Putney and Islington.

If you want to read articles criticizing Germany, read the German press…it’s more interesting. Be it on the debate on prams in Prenzl’berg. Or the unemployment rate in Mecklemburg. Or Rostock gangs. Or the Swabian invasion.

Continue reading ‘Boring, tedious, envious or just plain lazy?’


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