Berlin is the best german city to buy a property or an apartment

How to buy an apartment in Berlin?



There are many good reasons why you might choose to buy an apartment in Berlin:

  • If you are renting a flat in the city, you might choose to pay a low market rate mortgage instead of continuing paying a rent.
  • You might be also looking for a holiday apartment in a great international city, a temporary place or a flat for a relative studying in Germany.
  • You may simply want to make a profitable investment property with outstanding capital gain tax advantages in Germany (i.e. for your retirement scheme).


The general advantages of buying a property in Berlin

The real estate market in Berlin is very promising so whatever you buy a property for self-use or just for investment, you'll benefit from great advantages:

  • International and dynamic city ranked 3rd best city in the world in terms of quality of living
  • Great neighborhoods for living like Prenzlauer Berg, Mitte, Kreuzberg, Neukölln and Charlottenburg
  • Attractive housing market prices
  • High potential residential housing market and unique tax advantages for buyers in Germany
  • Low mortgage interest rates in Germany
  • Best city to invest in Europe since years with the strongest capital gain potential (+12% in 2018)


If you are renting an apartment in the city, it is a great opportunity buy your own apartment and save money by just substituting the payment of the rent with an equivalent monthly mortgage installment. In deed,  mortgage rates in Germany are at their historical lowest levels so if you are qualified for a mortgage loan, it's definetely a good idea to go ahead and take profit from this situation! 

If you are an investor, the increase in average prices, the tax advantages on capital gains and on rent income taxes in Germany, make the city of Berlin the least expensive and the best destination for investment amongst all German and european cities. If you want to invest in the city, please visit our page dedicated to property investment in Berlin. You will find all needed information about  the local real estate market, the types of apartments , the rental demand by area, the current housing market average prices and rental levels. 

How to buy an apartment in Berlin in 3 simple steps?

Altbau apartment builiding in the area of Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg

If you’re considering to buy an apartment in Berlin, our real estate agent will assist you from A to Z in order to make the purchase process easy to manage on your side. We are happy to advise about  city neighborhoods, housing market prices, and rental levels, if it's for an investment. We would help you making the right choices about the type of apartment and building, the price range, and the mortgage financing. Our team will also actively help you on finding the right property thanks to our listings of over 300 apartments for sale in Berlin and our customized property search service.

If you don't speak german, this should not at all be a hurdle for you to buy your own apartment in Berlin. Our English-speaking real estate agency offers you a full service that allows you to manage with reliance the process of buying your new home in the German capital.  With clients from 40 countries, our international real estate agency built a strong market reputation and a unique experience in making the process easy to manage for international and expatriate buyers. Our company has also one of highest client satisfaction rates amongst Berlin real estate agents.

With First Citiz team assistance, buying your dream apartment in Berlin would be an easy and straightforward process.



  • Choice of your preferred city area for living: The choice of the district and the area is an essential first step for your purchase since the German capital is quite a large city (about 8 times bigger than Paris). If you intend to acquire a property in a central district of Berlin, you have the choice between eastern areas like Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin Mitte and Friedrichshain, the south areas like Neukölln, Kreuzberg and the west side areas like Charlottenburg, Schöneberg and Berlin Wilmersdorf. If you buy for living yourself, the area choice is very important as the neighborhoods are very different and has their own contrasted lifestyles and building architechture types (i.e Altbau, sixties buildings, new-build...). It would be essentially your personal preferences  like public transportations, distance from your workplace, proxmity of parcs, entertainment opportunities  ... that will drive your final choice! Then comes the other purchase criteria, mainly the building type, the budget, the floor, the size and the number of rooms. In order to help you choosing the right place either for living or to invest in the city, our team will provide you with comprehensive information about the city areas and the prices for each district of Berlin. 

  • Apartment search and selection: For an effective property selection, it's important to set the search criteria from the very beginning: vacant or rented flat, neighborhood, number of bedrooms, living room size, bathroom type, budget, floor, whether you are ok or not for a ground floor, new build construction project or period building... In this view, will select for you the best deals and apartments on the property market and we will organize for you the suitable viewings. We manage large listings of over 300 properties for sale in Berlin best locations and central neighborhoods like Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain, Charlottenburg, Neukölln and Kreuzberg. Our listings include both  period buildings and new-build apartments with modern high-quality fittings. Our property for sale listings include all type of apartments: studios, 1-bedroom, 2-3 bedrooms to 4-5 rooms family apartments. We have also an exclusive selection of high-end luxury properties. If you are not living in Germany, it’s possible to arrange for you the viewings within a short period of stay. Whether you are looking for a new-build property, a flat to renovate or a turnkey furnished apartment, you have come to the right address!                                                    

  • Property purchase process organisation: Our team will actively support you throughout the purchase process in Germany and will coordinate the paperwork with the notary office including the clearance of the administrative steps, until the signature of the purchase and sale agreement. If you are interested in financing your apartment acquisition with a mortgage in Germany, this would be definitely a good idea giving the current low German mortgage market rates. We will provide you with all information you need (interest rates, LTV in percent of property price, processing time...) and we could fully manage for you the mortgage application . We also assist you on the understanding of all the german administrative documentation. Once the purchase and sale agreement of your new apartment is signed, we will follow with you throughout the transaction until the final ownership transfer and the key handover. If you buy a tenanted property, we will also provide you with assistance on all aspects of rental management for your new property in Germany.


In what consists the property purchase process  in Germany?

The property purchase and sale process takes usually three months in Germany. For tenanted properties, a preemption right is granted to the tenant of up to two months which could result in a longer purchase period. Please, note that in Germany there is no requirement of a pre-sale agreement to acquire a property and that only a single appointment at the notary office is required to sign the purchase and sale agreement. With our real estate agency expertise in managing property acquisitions for international buyers and expatriates, it would be possible for you to finalize a property purchase in the capital of Germany capital with only one travel to the city. 

  • Reservation of the property: the reservation of an apartment in Berlin generally implies a security deposit of  around1% from the flat price. Upon the acuisition of the propertyt, this downpayment will be reimbursed or simply deducted against the brokerage fees or the property price .
  • Purchase process: after the reservation of the apartment, the buyer would order a draft of the purchase and sale agreement and start the mortgage application. During this period of around one month, our team will ensure a full coordination with the notary office and the property manager and will clear the administrative steps realted to the purchase. If you don't speak german, we can recommand you an english-speaking notary office which would make the overall process easier. 
  • Purchase and sale agreement signature: once the purchase and sale agreement and the mortgage are ready, our team will coordinate with the the notary office and the seller in order to get a signature meeting date that is suitable for all parties . You could attend the appointement by yourself or hire a local legal firm to respresent you.
  • Ownership transfer: following the signature of the purchase and sale agreement, the notary office would take care of clearing all the ownership transfer process (i.e land registry, new mortgage registry...) which takes around 6-8 weeks. At the end of the process the payment of the price to the former owner will be notified to you.


In total, buying a property in Berlin takes around 3 months during which our english-speaking real estate agency will provide you wilth full assistance throughout the property purchase process.


What are the side costs to consider for a property purchase in Berlin?

Property purchase process in Germany


The legal purchase taxes and fees for buying a property in Berlin amounts to ca. 7.5% of the property purchase price. It consists of land registry fees that amounts to ca. 6.5% of the purchase price and the payment of the notary office services (about 1% of the apartment sale price). After clearing all the process, the notary office will notify the buyer to pay the sale price directly to the seller in order to become the new property owner. Depending on the property and the listing, a brokerage commission of 3,57% to 7,14% of the property price may be applicable. If you choose to mandate a German legal firm to represent you during the acquisition process, this would cost ca. 1% of the property price.

In addition to our support during the property purchase process, our real estate agents will be at your disposal for every explanation during all the purchase steps. First Citiz Berlin team will assist you also for  the handover of the keys and the inventory of your new apartment in Berlin (if the flat is sold furnished or including fittings). For an investment property, we also organize for you the search of the new tenant or the transfer of the existing rent contract  (if the property is already rented). For more information about the process and steps related to the purchase of a property in Berlin, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team!



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