Property in Munich Photo: CC0 Public Domain

Property in Munich

By  Thursday, 18.12.2014, 14:08    Property



We have written numerous articles on the joys of apartment hunting in Munich. In this property section the focus is going to be on buying property in the Bavarian capital and you’ll find posts regarding general considerations, important information on taxes, fees and other costs as well as info on legal issues and a guide to buying property in Munich.

Only some 45 per cent of Germans own their own home. After a glance at the development of real estate prices in the Bavarian capital, you’ll get an idea about one of the reasons why Germany has the lowest percentage of homeowners in the European Union. In general, Munich is Germany’s most expensive city and property prices are one of the main reasons for it. The ttable below gives insight in how property prices have developed in the country's biggest cities over the past decade.


The City of Munich is divided into 25 districts and property prices differ from district to district. The city's oldest, most picturesque and consequently most expensive parts tend to be located near the centre, whereas districts on the outskirts are generally more affordable. If you wish to live in the centre, the usual thing to do in Germany is to rent a flat; however, the further you move away from the centre, the more houses there are, especially in areas that used to be separate villages and became part of the city in the past few decades.


Buying property in Munich

There are no restrictions for foreigners who want to buy property in Germany.

Apart from money that is! The price of Munich real estate is only going one way, although some people are cautioning that the prices are not sustainable.

Despite their relative wealth, Germans have surprisingly the lowest rate of home ownership (46%) in the EU, and renting is very common, and for those who do buy, it is not usually the norm that buyers will then sell to move up the ladder, as elsewhere.

The buying process is relatively straightforward. One generally needs a real estate agent (a list can be found on the Real Estate Agents' Union website), and their fees range from 3%-7%, and these are usually paid by the seller, but it is advisable to check.

Once a sale has been agreed, the contract is drawn up by a public notary. The notary is impartial, and it his responsibility to ensure that all the paperwork and title are correct. The sales contract is then read out in full to both parties before signature. After signing, there is a government check to make sure that there are no outstanding issues. The sales tax of 3.5% is then due four weeks after signature. This is usually paid by the buyer.

Below is a glossary with the most commonly used terminology in describing property in German ads.


   Wohnen - living (accmodation purposes only)

   Gewerbe - trading (business purposes only)

   Eigentumswohnung - owned flat

   Mietwohnung - hired flat

   Doppelhaus - two semi-detached houses

   Doppelhaushälfte - semi-detached house

   Reihenhaus - terraced house

   Freistehendes Haus - detached house

   Wohn- und Geschäftshaus - a building used for housing and business

   Wohnhaus - apartment block

   Zimmer - room

   Küche - kitchen

   Dusche - shower

   Bad - bathroom

   Keller - cellar

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Paul Bradbury

After 12 years living on the most gorgeous island in the world, Hvar in Dalmatia, I have begun to wonder if there is still life beyond its shores. Prior to discovering Paradise in 2002, I was a world traveller, living and working in Japan, Georgia, Somalia, Rwanda, Russia... and Munich.

After 95 countries and some 25 years have passed, the memories of my year in the hotel industry in the Bavarian capital (fired by the Sheraton for losing our pet snake, the first male chambermaid at Hotel Arabella, and a truly eye-watering introduction to five-star living in  my days as a bellboy in luxury Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten) are strong, and the call of Munich has been a constant theme over the last quarter century. 

And so here I am, answering the call some 25 years later. Twelve years of island living have changed me for sure, but also left me curious about life in a big city, and whether or not I could adapt to it after such an insular decade. 

I was surprised to see that for such a magnificent multi-cultural city, English-language blogs and regularly updated information are not that available. Static tourism information, such as that provided by the excellent tourist board website yes, but accounts of daily life delivered daily? Hard to find.

And so I have decided to take a break from my idyllic island and see if I could live in a city again. And what better way to try than to discover modern Munich in all its facets after so many years. It is a journey of discovery which I am relishing, and I hope the site proves to be of interest for Munich residents and its numerous visitors.

About Paul Bradbury

Author of Lebanese Nuns Don't Ski, Lavender, Dormice and a Donkey Named Mercedes and Hvar's first comprehensive guidebook, Hvar: An Insider's Guide to Croatia's Premier Island, as well as co-author of Split: An Insider's Guide with Mila Hvilshoj, I have lived in Dalmatia full time since 2003. In addition to running Total Munich, I also run Total Split (, Total Hvar ( and Total Inland Dalmatia (, as well as being an accredited Google News journalist for Digital Journal in Canada.

I also have various blogging clients, including the Central Dalmatia Tourist Board, European Coastal Airlines, Touristar TV and Andro Tomic Wines, and print clients include Qatar Airways inflight magazine, Out! magazine from New York, and Croatian Hotspots. 

In December 2014 I was delighted to receive the Marko Polo 2014 Award from FIJET Croatia (Federation of International Travel Writers and Journalists)  at a ceremony for the Croatian Journalists Society for the best international tourism promotion of Croatia. More here.

Ongoing writing projects:

A History of Hajduk Split, co-author with Frane Grgurevic - in 2015

Around the World in 80 Disasters - out in 2015

Total Hvar in the Media:

Interview of the Month, Croatian Embassy in Washington (May 2013)

Special Feature in Globus Magazine (May 2013)

Featured on Croatian TV show, More (2012) - watch the report here

Interviews in Slobodna Dalmacija, Dalmacijanews, Radio Split

I am available for writing services. Please contact me on [email protected] or visit my main writing website, 

Website: Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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