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Housing hot spot with real Sax appeal

June 9, 2015

zdresWHEN author Horace Greeley uttered the words “Go West, young man”, little did he realise the impact they would have on American history.

Today, 150 years later, heading in the opposite direction is having a profound effect on Germany’s reunification success.

For estate agents are increasingly eyeing a city in the east – Dresden – as the one to watch for future housing value-for-money.

“Munich is too expensive, Hamburg is too expensive, Berlin is getting too expensive, so investors are looking for the next best thing, and that’s Dresden,” said Ronald Fiedler, head of property professionals Engel & Voelkers in the city.

Dresden – the capital of the state of Saxony and just 125 miles from Berlin – is picking up a head of steam in housing terms as German companies expand following the global financial crisis.

Prices for newly-built flats in the city have gone up nearly 50 per cent in the past five years, outpacing the national average of 30 per cent and Berlin’s 33 percent, according to research firm Bulwiengesa.

Last month’s hosting of the G7 finance ministers’ meeting was another tonic to a city left in ruins by sustained Allied bombing at the end of World War II.

Since reunification, Dresden has been rejuvenated – regaining its pre-war moniker ‘Florence of the Elbe’, which is a reference to the baroque domes and towers lining a picturesque, winding stretch of the Elbe river.
Other draws for investors are the low crime rate and an expanding population, up by another 5,500 people to nearly 550,000.

The population is expected to grow by almost 11 per cent up to 2030, according to a study by Germany’s Bertelsmann Foundation.
Berlin has become the first city in Germany to introduce a cap on rent in the capital.

A law allowing rent controls on inner-city property came into effect at the beginning of this month, preventing landlords charging new tenants more than 10 per cent above the local average.

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