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