Tuesday, 18 March 2008

PWC enters 4 German Cities on there top 10

Pricewaterhouse Coopers, PwC, Urban Land Institute, ULI, MIPIM, Moscow, Istanbul, London, Germany,

Moscow has overtaken Paris as the top real estate market in Europe for both investment and development according to a new report titled: Emerging Trends in Real Estate Europe 2008, published by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC).

The report, launched yesterday at the MIPIM conference in Cannes, surveyed 500 industry professionals active in 27 European property markets. Moscow and Istanbul ranked first and second respectively while Hamburg and Munich held the third and fourth spots as Europe’s top investment markets. Paris, which held the top investment rating in 2007, slipped slightly, taking fifth place for investment prospects and sixth place for development prospects. According to the report, the shift in the top markets suggests a desire by industry professionals to branch out of ‘Old Europe’ to investigate new markets and diversify current holdings and developments.

“Without question, Europe is facing a bumpier ride this year than the last few years. The findings in the report show how markets in Europe have become more globally connected and more vulnerable to economic shifts occurring in other parts of the world,” said Richard Rosan, president of ULI Worldwide. “However, the fact that many respondents remain confident about European markets points to the still-local nature of real estate. We are seeing a lot of guarded optimism.”

An improvement in Germany’s economy is reflected in the inclusion of four German cities – Hamburg, Munich, Berlin and Frankfurt – on the list of top ten investment markets. “Despite all the turbulence in the international markets, the German property market is still on the upturn,” the report said. One factor that could affect future investment and development decisions is an ‘expansion in the definition’ of Europe to include parts of the Middle East and Africa, the report said, noting that many interviewees mentioned Abu Dhabi and Dubai as potential markets for business.

Decline in confidence
One of the sharpest rating drops among the European markets occurred with London, which fell to 15th place for investment prospects and 13th place for development opportunities. The report suggested that London, more than other European cities, is experiencing declining economic conditions similar to those in the US, including a drop in consumer spending, falling house prices, a rise in personal indebtedness, worries over home repossessions, and turmoil in the financial sector.

“Tighter credit conditions, higher energy prices, a reduction in euro-based exports and a cooler housing market will have an impact in the months ahead,” said William Kistler, president ULI EMEA/India. “But, we firmly believe that most markets will weather the downturn with a soft landing, due to relatively stable property fundamentals and reasonable economic growth. Those who are patient and prudent will succeed.”

“The story is very different depending on where in Europe you are looking to invest and your appetite for risk” according to Henrik Steinbrecher, global real estate leader at PwC. “At one end of the scale Russia and Turkey are booming, at the other end London has fallen out of favour with many investors. We are seeing the emergence of very different real estate markets in Europe. As investors look for returns in a volatile market, they need to understand the complexities of the markets that they are moving into.”

Top 10 European investment prospects
1 Moscow
2 Istanbul
3 Hamburg
4 Munich
5 Paris
6 Lyon
7 Frankfurt
8 Stockholm
9 Berlin
10 Helsinki

Top 10 European development market prospects
1 Moscow
2 Istanbul
3 Munich
4 Hamburg
5 Lyon
6 Paris
7 Prague
8 Warsaw
9 Stockholm
10 Helsinki

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Press Snippets from Easy Jet

I usually take the Gatwick to Schoenefeld flight each month to Berlin, its quick and easy & gives me a chance to read the papers from the Sunday before. I am always cutting & ripping bits out to keep, here are 3 articles fro Easy Jets mag about the Berlin property market.

Brad Pitt and Berlin

The Berlin property boom continues as witnessed by Germany entering, for the first time ever, the Top Twenty favourite overseas property destinations as published by ‘A Place in the Sun’ magazine ( March, 2008).

Other news here in Berlin is that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have cashed in on Berlin’s property boom buying a loft apartment in Mitte. Also, Tom Cruise, currently here making a movie about the second world war, will probably be next!!

Monday, 10 March 2008

Berlin Residents Buying Power

Here we can see a recent piece published by Berliner Morganpost. It shows those areas with the highest disposible income in Berlin, withh the average as 100.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Berlin's Boroughs

Since 1995, Berlin’s boroughs have been given lump sum payments from the state budget with which they are to discharge their responsibilities as administrative units. This enables them to set their own financial priorities and increases their autonomy and independence.
Einwohner der Bezirke
pop. 324,368
pop. 263,388
pop. 355,521
pop. 315,204
pop. 224,659
pop. 288,268
pop. 332,547
pop. 305,797
pop. 235,607
pop. 250,098
pop. 259,514
pop. 243,917
[Source: State Statistical Office; as of May 2006]

The borough administrations consist of the borough assembly and the borough office. The members of the borough assembly are elected by German citizens eligible to vote and by EU nationals living in the borough in question. Parties receiving less than three percent of the votes cast in an election will not be represented in the borough assembly. The borough offices consist of the borough mayor and the borough councillors, who share administrative responsibility.
The mayors of all the boroughs, the Governing Mayor of Berlin, and his deputy, the Mayor of Berlin, comprise the Council of Mayors. The Senate is obligated to consult the Council of Mayors on fundamental legislative and administrative issues. The same applies to bills from the House of Representatives.

A PDF for each bourough is available, contact us now on info@harrisonstone.co.uk

Berlin's Budget & Structural Change

Berlin’s Budget
In 2007 the federal state of Berlin had a budget surplus for the first time in its history. The surplus will be used to reduce Berlin’s existing debt (roughly €60 billion). Budget forecasts anticipate surpluses over the next few years as well, and the state’s existing debt is to be reduced by €1.8 billion by 2011.Berlin’s financial situation is heavily influenced by high debt and correspondingly high interest payments. For years now, the Senate has been working to meet this challenge with a consistent budget consolidation course. As a result, in 2006, primary income (i.e., not including loans or the sale of assets) was able to cover primary spending (i.e., not including interest) for the first time since German reunification.

Spending, on the other hand, will amount to €20.682 billion in 2008, which means a budget surplus of €514 million. As in 2007, Berlin will use the surplus to continue reducing its existing debt.

Revenues of €20.718 billion are anticipated for 2009.

Spending is projected at €20.628 billion, giving Berlin a budget surplus of €107 million in 2009.

Structural Change
Berlin has not yet completed the structural shift that will make a forward-looking center of technology and service providers out of a traditional industrial city. Favorable conditions, however, including modern communications networks (such as a fiber-optic cable network measuring more than 170,000 km) and close proximity to many different educational institutions, are speeding up the pace. Europe’s most modern research and technology park, for instance, is emerging at Adlershof.At the same time, Berlin is introducing administrative structural reform: in addition to increasing intercultural openness, the goal is to create an administration that is “resident-friendly,” transparent, and economical and views itself as a modern service provider. For example, borough reform at the beginning of 2001 reduced the number of boroughs from 23 to 12. Reviews are also being conducted right now to determine which tasks should be privatized and which should continue to be under the control of the state. Modernization of both the procedures and the equipment used by Berlin’s judicial system is also underway.In both the national and the international context, Berlin has a responsibility to enhance social cohesion and to develop prospects for the future. The city is thus taking an active part in the Agenda 21 process. At a UN conference in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, 173 countries agreed on this “Action Plan for the 21st Century”; it calls on towns and cities to initiate discussions with the public and then draw up their own Local Agenda 21 reflecting community agreement.

New Area
A new district is emerging on 420 hectares of southeastern Berlin: “Berlin Adlershof – City of Science, Business, and Media.” Offering an interesting mix of forward-looking companies and scientific institutes, Adlershof has already attained international renown with its research findings, its products, and its achievements. A complex comprised of apartments, shops, hotels, restaurants, movie theaters, schools, and a large park is being built around it and will be completed by 2010. A highly qualified workforce of up to 20,000 people will someday work in the “City of Science, Business, and Media.” Approximately 3,000 scientists and research assistants and 5,000 students will do research, teach, and learn here, and up to 10,000 people will live here. The technology park received the “Award of Excellence for Innovative Regions” from the 3rd European Forum for innovative companies in April 2002. Adlershof is also being expanded into the region’s largest studio location and a center for the media industry.
Science and Technology Park Berlin Adlershof
The heart of the Adlershof development area is a science and technology park. Twelve non-university research institutes, 362 technology-oriented companies, and around 6,800 highly qualified scientists and staff members have already settled here. Modern centers for individual disciplines have also been established, some in renovated older buildings and others in new buildings featuring spectacular architecture, such as the photonics center.Innovation in science and business is combined in Adlershof with living in green surroundings and with the further development of a location already rich in tradition: motorized flight in Germany originated here at the beginning of the 20th century, and the aviation research facility Deutsche Versuchsanstalt für Luftfahrt (DLV) began its work here in 1912. During the GDR era, the natural science institutes of East Germany’s Akademie der Wissenschaften and the state-run television network were based here. Facilities from the early days of the DLV, such as a wind tunnel, a vertical wind tunnel, and an engine test bed, will be on display as part of an ensemble of technological monuments on the grounds of the Humboldt University campus and will further enhance the appeal of the Adlershof location.The third element is the university sector: in 2007, six of the Humboldt University’s mathematics and natural sciences departments moved from Berlin-Mitte to the new campus at Adlershof. The mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science, geography, and psychology departments are now teaching and doing research at Adlershof.

Adlershof as a media location
Studio Berlin – a subsidiary of the state-owned NDR broadcasting corporation’s Studio Hamburg – is currently expanding on the existing infrastructure at the Adlershof media location to create the Adlershof media center. With seven fully equipped studios, Studio Berlin can provide the full range of studio and production services, including digital OB trucks, pre- and postproduction, and event management and technology. At 2,400 square meters, “Studio G” is one of the largest television studios in Europe.

Business in Berlin

Business and finance
Berlin has been able to hold its ground as a competitive business location. The city’s outstanding infrastructure, its large and highly qualified workforce, and its excellent colleges, universities, and research institutions are major reasons motivating companies to locate here. Once an industrial city, Berlin is on the way to becoming a modern center of service providers. One important business sector is tourism. Berlin chalked up yet another record in 2007: with 17.29 million overnight stays and around 7.59 million hotel guests from Germany and abroad, the numbers for 2007 have outstripped those for 2006, itself a record year for tourism. The increase in overnight stays to 17.29 million represents growth of 8.6 percent.

Berlin’s economy
In the last 15 years, Berlin’s economy has undergone fundamental structural change.The growth of the service sector has gone hand in hand with a decline in industry and construction. Today Berlin and the area surrounding it boast many strong companies. This development was assisted by significant funding from the European Structural Funds used to target the economy and infrastructure. We received almost €1.3 billion in the six-year funding period that ended in 2006, and roughly the same amount has been made available in the current funding period, which runs till 2013.

Our economic structure
Small and medium-size companies are key to Berlin’s economy. Despite substantial job cuts, Berlin still has a strong industrial core: around 96,000 people worked at manufacturing companies with 20 or more employees in 2006. Exports, which grew by around 38 percent between 2000 and 2006, underscore the productivity of Berlin’s industry. Along with electrical engineering, food products, chemicals, mechanical engineering, and motor-vehicle manufacturing are some of Berlin’s traditionally strong sectors. In addition to construction and the skilled trades, which are usually organized in small businesses, trade and services also play a major role. In 2006, Berlin’s trade sector included a total of almost 70,000 large and small businesses employing around 186,000 people.

New businesses
The founding of new businesses continues unabated in Berlin. The difference in the number of businesses registered and those de-registered shows that the number of start-ups continued to grow in 2006, with a net total of 13,000 new businesses for that year. The private service sector has generated more than 100,000 new jobs in the last ten years. Including the areas of trade, banking, and insurance, as well as transportation and communications, more than 50% of the people employed in Berlin work in the private service sector. In this sector the overall total comes to around 720,000.

The scientific and academic landscape
In order to secure its position over the long term as a location for business, Berlin will have to prioritize the acquisition of competence in forward-looking sectors. The prerequisites are already in place. One positive legacy of the city’s years of division is Berlin’s outstanding academic, scientific, research, and development landscape: for political reasons, both West German governments and the GDR had concentrated scientific and academic potential in Berlin. As a result, Berlin has a wide range of colleges and universities and many research institutions.

Politics and the economy
Bolstering the economy and creating an environment conducive to investment and economic expansion are among the state’s key tasks. Berlin is investing great effort in bringing modern, competitive industrial production facilities to the city, not least as an anchor for the growing sector of production-related services. The Senate provides support to promising new businesses and sector-specific technology and start-up centers. Policies promote both existing businesses and investment in the modernization of business-related infrastructure. Priorities include boosting innovative capacity by creating networks and disseminating technology, as well as assisting small and medium-sized businesses, since these play a key role in the creation of new jobs.

Support for investors
As part of its strategy, Berlin will be concentrating even more than in the past on promoting cooperation between business and science. Activities focus on transportation technology, biotechnology and medical technology, and information technology and media, all of which are fields of the future.Berlin Partner GmbH offers potential investors all the services they need from a single source. It answers questions about the city as a business location, helps with the search for land and office space, provides competent information about foreign markets, and helps investors locate cooperation partners. Companies can also take advantage of the Investor Service Agency (ZAK) whenever they need help with permit or administrative procedures.

Getting there by air

Airport Tegel (TXL)
13405 Berlin (Reinickendorf)
Tegel is situated in the northwest of Berlin, approximately 8 km from the city-centre. You can reach the western city centre from the airport conveniently within 15 minutes. Apart from the buses 109 and 128 the JetExpressBus TXL connects the airport to the main train station Hauptbahnhof. The Expressbus X9 leaves from the train station Zoologischer Garten. The Expressbuses stop only at the main bus stops and are therefore a quick connection. The bus or undergound ticket costs € 2.10 (fair zone AB), or € 2.60 for trips to the surroundings (fair zone ABC).
BUS ROUTE 109, 128, X9, TXL

Airport Tempelhof (THF)
12101 Berlin (Tempelhof)
Tempelhof is situated in the south of the city. The airport is very centrally located and well linked to the city centre by the underground line 6 - station "Platz der Luftbrücke".

BUS ROUTE U6104, 184, 341

Airport Schönefeld (SXF)
12521 Berlin (Schönefeld)
Schönefeld is situated in the southeast of Berlin, approximately 18 km from the city centre. The airport is connected with the city centre by the S-Bahn (suburban train) lines S49 and S9 as well as with several AirportExpress trains that run from/to Hauptbahnhof, Zoologischer Garten, Friedrichstraße, Alexanderplatz and Ostbahnhof every half an hour. Tickets for these trains or the S-Bahn cost 2.10 €. S45 and S9 need about 45 minutes for the trip to the centre, the trains take 15 min (from/to Ostbahnhof) to 30 min (from/to Hauptbahnhof), 35 min(from/to Zoologischer Garten). All trains and the S-Bahn stop at the station "Flughafen Berlin-Schönefeld".
BUS ROUTE S9, S45162, 163, 171, 736, N46, N60

Travellling around Berlin

Tickets and Fares

An extensive S-Bahn (urban railway), U-Bahn (underground), bus and streetcar network spanning the entire city gets you quickly, safely and inexpensively to all the attractions.

A system of night buses and trains keeps you mobile into the wee hours of the night.Berlin has three fare zones: zone A is delineated by the S-Bahn ring and encompasses the city centre, zone B ends at the city limits. Zone C includes Berlin's immediate surroundings (e.g. Potsdam, Oranienburg).

Tickets can be purchased with the zone combinations AB, BC or ABC. Standard fares apply to adults, reduced fares to children aged 6-13; children under 6 ride free. Tickets can be purchased at any of the many BVG and S-Bahn Berlin ticket counters and at ticket machines located in the stations. The machines are equipped with convenient on-screen menu navigation and are available 24 hours a day in 6 languages (German, English, French, Spanish, Turkish, Polish).

Most frequently used tickets (fare zone AB):
Single journey ticket
€ 2,10
Short distance
€ 1,20
Day ticket
€ 6,10
7-Days ticket
€ 25,40
Group ticket (max. 5 persons)
€ 15,40
Berlin WelcomeCard 2008 (fare zone AB)
€ 16,50 / € 21,50 (48 / 72 hours)
Berlin WelcomeCard 2008 (fare zone ABC)
€ 18,00 / € 24,50 (48 / 72 hours)
Bus lines 100 and 200Central Berlin is quite expansive and difficult to scout out on foot. It is worth covering certain itineraries with public transport. A trip on bus 100 or 200 is tantamount to a city tour, taking passengers past the many sights between Zoologischer Garten and Alexanderplatz. .

S-Bahn (urban railway)From the elevated S-Bahn you can catch a first glimpse of several of the city's tourist magnets. The route from Zoologischer Garten to Alexanderplatz passes Tiergarten and the Victory Column, the Reichstag and the government quarter and cruises between the structures gracing Museum Island.The Ringbahn (S-Bahn Circle) line loops around the city centre in an hour, offering passengers a number of outstanding impressions.

Panorama S-Bahn - A city tour extraordinaireA junket on this train featuring snug swivel chairs, a bar, air conditioning, a wheelchair accessible toilet and expansive panorama windows is an experience in itself. Enjoy a stunning view of Berlin while sipping a glass of bubbly.

Beside the well developed net of bus and train lines there are also nearly 7000 taxis to transport the Berliners and their guests. You can order a taxi easily.

Harrison and Cohn; Why invest in Berlin?

Why Invest in Berlin?
What a super investment Berlin is looking. Its in an unique position at the moment, no other Western European Capital is in such a great position.

There is land in the city centre to be purchased & built on using all the latest technology to aid them.
With such a low number of home owners (at present) in Berlin (around 15%) the rental market is strong but remember cheap is not always best, check the area & location.

Berlin is made up of several smaller "cities", the UK idea that everyone heads into the centre for work and pleasure does not really exist in Berlin, the centre around The Zoo, Tiergaten etc is mainly for tourists. When renters chose an area they want to know can I work here? Are there bars & cafes, cinemas etc?

With one of the best transport systems in the world you can chose either the underground (U bahn) the overground (S Bahn), tram or bus, even by bike.

The normal price range per square metre is between 1100 & 2200 Euros, depending on area, level of decoration & facilities in the actual block. There is a "rate" card for Berlin, this monitors the rents across the capital & has upper limits for rent increases & also time limits on how often rents are increased.

Prices really start around 35000 Euros now, sometimes we have some just under but they usually sell very quickly-Please register now if your budget is at this level.

About Us: Harrison and Cohn

We love Berlin, Charlottenburg, Mitte, Potsdamer Platz, Steglitz so many different areas!

My name is Adam Harrison, I operate the company from the UK and my business partner, Donna Cohn is based in Berlin, she is bilingual & has lived there for 30 years, we work with several agents who we know are reliable & helpful, most of them offer an after sales service, submitting tax forms for any income & liaising with the management companies.

Our properties also come from Banks, The Government, Private sellers, Developers, Funds etc.

Berlin Statistics

Berlin's districts
With about 3,400,000 inhabitants, Berlin is the largest City in Germany.
It is 38 kilometres long and 45 kilometres wide and covers an area of 889 square kilometres.