Throughout history, the German capital has experienced several cultural, economic and political influences that have shaped and influenced the urban landscape of the city.
Walking through the capital of Germany, one changes the era at the turn of each street and is seized by the contrast between the architectural styles and influences of each era in Europe.
Given the diversity of construction styles, the type of the property and building becomes a central criteria, on which depends the price, whether it’s to rent or to buy a property in Berlin.
The period properties in Berlin
The period properties (“Altbau” in German) are buildings that were mostly built between the end of the 19th century and 1930. The lovely Altbau homes were built in the Art Nouveau style (Jugendstil) with different levels of sophistication.
In addition to colored glass windows of the period, the common areas of the Altbau buildings are distinguished by the presence of ornaments, decoration in stucco and ancient faience.
In some buildings, notably in the district of Charlottenburg, Kreuzberg and Prenzlauer Berg, there are prestigious period buildings with marble entrances, period frescoes and sometimes charming period lifts with bench seats.
The interior of an Altbau property is distinguished by sub-ceiling heights up to 3,50 meters for the lowest floors (the height generally decreases with the upper floors) with interior stucco decoration. Some apartments are with a well-preserved period parquet floors (Dielen) made of solid pine boards up to 10m length each.
The plan of the apartments is characterized by the large size of the rooms often around 20 m2.
In recent years, many of attics of Atlbau period buildings have been converted into Penthouses (by removing parts of the roof and replacing it with a terrace) and have become very popular properties.
Berliners have developed an almost personal relationship with Altbau apartments which are the most sought-after properties, although most of them have no elevators.
The average price of a period property in Berlin ranges from 3000 to 7000€/m2.
The new build property developments
The new modern buildings in Berlin, called Neubau in German, are distinguished by their elegance and sobriety. As German urban planning regulations are particularly strict, they are often built at the same height as period buildings (5-6 floors maximum). The new build properties are also energy efficient (Standard Kf-70) and are equipped with modern lifts and parking spaces, which makes them appreciated by business and expatriate clientele. Usually the ground floor are commercial units or apartments with private gardens.
The no man’s Land around the Berlin Wall location (notably between the central station and Chausseestraße or south of Mitte towards Spittelmarkt), a time disgraced by the inhabitants of the city have now become a real growth driver the Berlin real estate market. New central neighborhoods emerge from zero like the Mittenmang area.
The Neubau are particularly appreciated by investors as there is no rental regulation for investment properties in Berlin that are built after 2014. Seekers of high-end real estate could enjoy exceptional penthouses in Berlin’s top locations with large terraces (or even private gardens on the roofs) for bargain price when compared with properties in London or Paris. A new-build apartment for sale in Berlin, in a good city location, would have a price of 6000 to 9000 euros per square meter depending on location, floor and number of bedrooms.
The typical Berlin industrial-style properties and lofts
The lofts are probably the type of property currently the trendiest and sought after in Berlin. This is due to the rarity of the buildings and also to the charm of industrial design knowing that Berlin is a very dynamic city in the field of design and at the forefront of interior decoration trends.
The lofts in Berlin are housed in buildings often made of red brick, formerly used as craft factories, old administrations or hospitals of the early 20th century, such as the Joli cœur project in Berlin Charlottenburg or the Metropol Park project in Mitte.
The apartments are distinguished by ceiling heights of up to 8 meters allowing mezzanines to be built (Galeriewohnung).
The lofts in Berlin have become the playground for interior designers and enthusiasts of retro design furnishings, which cover the city’s countless flea markets in search of furniture and period fixtures.
The 60-70’s properties in Berlin
The so called “Plattenbau” are buildings that were built in the 50s to 70s. Unlike other cities, they have the particularity of having been built in central Berlin neighborhoods like Schöneberg after the destruction caused by the war.
These apartments have a good quality of building , particularly in terms of insulation and functionality and often benefit from large loggias or balconies, lifts and common areas serving gardens and shared parking which is an advantage as the parking space price in Berlin is currently trading between 20,000 and 60,000 euros.
The Plattenbau flats offer the advantage of having less carrying walls which makes the floor plan flexible and easy to optimize. Finally, the sixties buildings are generally selling in Berlin at a slight discount of ca.5-10% compared to 1900s period ones.
The particularity of Stalinian properties in Berlin
Imperial Stalinist-style buildings can be found in a single area of Berlin, in Friedrichshain around the Karl-Marx Allee in which military parades were held during the DDR era.
These buildings, classified as historical monuments (Denkmalschutz), were built in the “classical socialist” style (Sozialistischer Klassizismus) for the nomenclature and the elite of the East German communist party.
These buildings are reputed to be very solid constructions and are distinguished by large entrances and common parts and ceiling heights of about 3 meters, well-preserved period parquet floors. They are actually authentic pieces of history and are recognizable by the bright earthenware faience that decorates their facades.
The properties types in Berlin are very diverse in terms of architecture, comfort, amenities and prices, they also depend on the city areas. Choosing the ideal apartment building in Berlin for living or for investing will be at the end a decision that would take into account a mix of personal criteria, budget and city area preferences.
On our side, our Berlin estate agents are happy to advice you and help you on choosing the right building type in your preferred neighborhood!