According to the latest update of the Greix (German Real Estate Index) thus shows that the price decline on the real estate market is picking up speed again after a brief summer break. In the segment of apartments, the overall price decline is only moderate. However, strong price falls can still be observed locally. Hopes of stabilization and an end of the price decline, as suggested by developments in the second quarter, have not materialized.
Compared to the previous quarter, Q2 2023, prices for apartments fall by 1.5 percent. Prices for single-family homes fall by 3.2 percent and prices for multi-family homes by 5.9 percent.
The inflation-adjusted price declines for all market segments are even greater. Measured in terms of current purchasing power, the prices for apartments fall by 2.2 percent, single-family homes by 3.9 percent and multi-family homes by 6.6 percent.
Compared to the same quarter of the last year, Q3 2022, all residential segments are down sharply. Apartment prices are down 10.5 percent, prices for single-family homes are down 12.1 percent and prices for multi-family homes are down 24 percent. As a result, single- and multi-family homes in particular are extending their year-over-year losses.
The number of properties sold has fallen significantly. Compared to the previous year (Q3, 2022), there were around a third fewer sales across all market segments. Compared to the average for 2019, 2020 and 2021, the slump is up to 50 percent.
"The crisis on the German real estate market continues. The falling transaction numbers indicate that few sellers and buyers are coming together at current prices. This is bad news, especially for the new construction business. With regards to the economy, but also for Germany as a business location, which urgently needs new living space in the cities in order to be attractive for local mobile workers," says Moritz Schularick, president of the Kiel Institute.
Sales prices for apartments in Germany's top-7 cities (Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich, Stuttgart) are falling almost across the board. Only in Cologne they rise slightly by 1.1 percent. The sharpest fall in prices was recorded in Düsseldorf with minus 6.6 percent. In Frankfurt am Main (-1.6 percent) and Stuttgart (-1.9 percent), prices are falling moderately, while in Berlin (-0.8 percent) they are moving almost sideways.
Note: No data for the third quarter is available for Hamburg and Munich in this Greix update.
Apartments are also becoming cheaper outside the top-7 cities, although the extent varies greatly from region to region. The sharpest declines can be observed in Leipzig (-4 percent), Duisburg (-4.4 percent) and above all in Münster (-6.2 percent) and Erfurt (-9.1 percent).
Chemnitz (+5.2 percent) and Potsdam (+4.2 percent) are the upward outliers, where prices have actually risen quite significantly compared to the previous quarter.
Decline since peak
Compared to their respective highs, apartments continue to lose value due to the renewed price slide. The exceptions are Berlin and Cologne, where prices are stabilizing or rising slightly. Moreover, sales prices for apartments are the most stable in these two cities and are only down 6 and a good 4 percent respectively compared to the boom times.
The biggest drop in value is in Düsseldorf with over minus 17 percent and Stuttgart with over minus 15 percent. For the Greix, so all 18 cities in the index, the price decline compared to the peak is a good 10 percent.
Measured in current purchasing power, the reduction in value is even more significant in all cities and is around 10 percentage points higher. For Düsseldorf and Frankfurt, the inflation-adjusted loss compared to the peak is around 25 percent, for the Greix it is 20 percent.
"The ECB's interest rate hikes have triggered a clear downward trend reversal on the German housing market and the bottom is not yet in sight. Nevertheless, prices are no longer falling as drastically as they did last year. But the market is also at a lower level, about the same as in 2019. The ECB's decision not to rise interest rates any further for the time being is at least a glimmer of hope for a stabilization on the real estate market," says Schularick.
Unfortunately, an error occurred into the final quote with the wording "...not to cut interest rates any further". The correct wording is "...not to rise interest rates any further". We have corrected this.
About the Greix:
- What is the Greix?
The Greix is a real estate price index for Germany based on the sales price collections of the local expert committees, which contains notarized sales prices. It tracks the price development of individual cities and neighborhoods back to 1960 and is based on more than two million transaction data. The dataset can be used to analyze long-term trends in the real estate markets and to place current developments in a historical context.
- What data and methods are used to create the indices?
The data collection and evaluation take place in cooperation with the local expert committees. All real estate transactions are recorded in full. The price development is calculated according to the latest scientific standards and statistical methods (hedonic regression method). The Greix thus stands for the highest scientific data quality.
- Who is funding the Greix?
Greix is financed by public funding and is a project of the Bonn-Cologne Cluster of Excellence ECONtribute, which is funded by the DFG, and the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, in cooperation with the local expert committees. Its aim is to increase price transparency in the real estate market. Different price indices for 18 cities are freely accessible at www.greix.de. Additional cities will gradually be added to the data set.