A Brexit view from Berlin: On balance, we would miss the Brits

Nikolaus Ziegert
Germany v England: 2010 FIFA World Cup - Round of Sixteen
Germany's real estate market would miss out after Brexit, according to one Berlin chief executive (Source: Getty)

Jointly owning a property in Germany without a contractual agreement can be very risky. Statistically, people in Germany own a property for longer than they are married. If the respective property is jointly owned and the marriage breaks up, it can result in mortgage difficulties.

For many Britons, its relationship with the European Union might be a contentious issue, but this shouldn’t be grounds for a difficult divorce. Europe is not just monstrous Brussels bureaucracy, and the UK’s momentarily estranged relationship is not reason enough to break up and allow our destiny to be determined by the uncertainty of the financial markets.

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In Germany, we’ve learned that it is always better to be part of the conversation, rather than being left out. Therefore we think it makes economic sense to be part of the European Union.

Nobody can predict with certainty how the British real estate market will develop if the pound suffers further devaluation and hundreds of thousands highly skilled and paid workers leave London for German cities such as Frankfurt and Berlin.

However, in the event of Brexit, housing demand would certainly grow in German cities, with theses financial and political centres benefiting most in Europe’s largest economy.

Brexit would also cause Europe’s centre to shift eastwards.

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In addition to the uncertainty that a Brexit would bring to the European financial markets it would most likely accelerate price growth for German real estate.

Germany has only recently become an international real estate investment destination. Following the global sub-prime mortgage crisis, investors began to realise the benefits of long-term fixed interest rates combined with Germany’s highly diversified economy, which has proven to be fairly resilient.

Would London's decreasing appeal as an investment destination in the wake of Brexit therefore be positive for the German real estate sector?

Or would we miss the Brits, who are currently coming to cities such as Berlin to invest their still strong pound in German property to secure their retirement?

On balance, I think we would miss them.

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