Gentrification and Yuppification in Berlin

113 posts in this topic

When reading, keep in mind that if you've come to Berlin in the last 10 years and moved into one of those posh, newly refurbished places in Prenzlauer Berg or Friedrichshain, you're the very people they're bitching about :ph34r:

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This doesn't mean that everything happening is good and everyone should quietly accept it...

 

 

But torching cars, etc is hardly an acceptable means of protest.

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of course not. (btw, some remarkable facts: the number of burned cars dropped in 2010 remarkably. and the percentage of burning cars (2007-2010) in hamburg is higher than in berlin)

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of course not. (btw, some remarkable facts: the number of burned cars dropped in 2010 remarkably. ...

 

Yeah, 2010, the year of the Flambé Anachist ;)

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So the government approves the building of luxury apartments and removes rent controls for the unemployed, forcing them to move out of the A zone in their thousands. Landlords rush to renovate so that they can bump the rent up 40%. I have met numerous people who have been forced out of their apartments because of this.

 

So who is to blame? Foreigners, obviously! Although I've never personally encountered hostility, reading about it still makes me feel unwelcome, and the "Germany for the Germans" mentality is worrying to say the least, not to mention extremely narrow-minded when you take into account that it's Germans who are pushing the prices up.

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You need context though. 40% rent rises? This is happening in quite a few places right now. It's the current norm for a lot of Germany. (It'd cost me 35% more to buy now than it did a 3 years ago so boy am I glad I commited, I could barely afford it now). There is most definitely a flight to the places people want to live in. It's being talked about across the major popular locations right now. It's been in the German newspapers, news magazines and specialist finance magazines ("Capital" and the rest) for a couple of years.

 

People believe the myths: Prices do not rise in Germany (yet they very much do in the places a certain type expects to live) / People prefer to rent (yet actually the monied classes most definitely do not). You can add on historically low interest rates which are proving very tempting (and of course you lock into them for 10 years, so about the nearest thing you will ever get to a "one-way" bet). So many people I know have bought recently or want to (incldunig very young people, 25 or so). A few years ago, that was so rare.

 

I think some place have rent controls (there's a district of Hamburg I think?).

 

But yes it is us - monied immigrant professionals - who are most definitely getting the blame in a lot of the media coverage I have read (across Germany, not just Berlin). And there is some truth in this. I'm not in Berlin but you see it in my town. My block is stuffed with monied foreigners, while a lot of Germans have been priced out to the neighbouring burbs. And, yes it is awkward, freewheeling immigrant explaining herself to a (well-paid) family of four in a much smaller apartment several miles out in commuterland ("Why do you live in such a big place?"). Never mind when they go on about their struggle to get their kids in my top-class school but they can't afford to live close enough to to qualify for. And so on. You can understand the resentment.

 

Some of the breathlessness of this article is a failure to understand that not every property market or labour market is in the doldrums like the UK of course. That there is a lot of money and work sloshing round Germany at the moment - a boom.

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What concerns me is the threat of violence towards tourists. Wouldn't like it very much if I were leading a walking-tour and my group or myself were attacked by a bunch of thugs - whether from the "left" or the right. I don't know, either, what it's supposed to achieve in their world-view. Why blame visitors for rising house prices? They stay in hotels and hostels after all.

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When reading, keep in mind that if you've come to Berlin in the last 10 years and moved into one of those posh, newly refurbished places in Prenzlauer Berg or Friedrichshain, you're the very people they're bitching about :ph34r:

 

 

Hehe! Moved here in 2007 and there was nothing I could afford in either place even then, so I settled in the wilderness outside the S-Bahn ring.

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I very much doubt that'll happen (I mean attacks). Also I thought a bit of street anarchy was part of the image of Berlin, it might increase your numbers ;) . I still dine out my tale of being water-cannoned in Prague in 1989!

 

Also, I tend not to worry for the "artist" types. They will find new cheap places, as they do in London etc. There's always a new haunt. Doesn't have to be in the same place in these global days. (Istanbul is apparently the new one, ironic considering the condescending attitude so many Berliners have to the local population of Turkish descent). Quite a few will turn into yuppies in due course, or pair up with the new brigade or whatever too.

 

If I were looking to want to settle in one of these "hip" areas, I'd say the best idea is to buy in if you can. Then you protect yourself from rises. It's also a global trend that people want to live in the major cities nowadays. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

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Already posted yesterday in http://www.toytowngermany.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=81231&st=15

 

 

Oops! :(

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If I were looking to want to settle in one of these "hip" areas, I'd say the best idea is to buy in if you can. Then you protect yourself from rises.

 

 

Well I don't think thats much of an option for the smelly squat denizens who are complaining about employed people moving next door between car burning marathons.

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Support the Pogo Partei and when they get the power they will split Berlin in two, the ones who want to work will move to West Berlin and the ones who do not want to work will stay in East Berlin. East Berlin will be a permanent 24/7 party and beer will be brought to your place via pipes just like water and totally free.

 

http://www.appd.de/

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchistische_Pogo-Partei_Deutschlands

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I have a friend in Berlin who works for a large real estate development company. One of the costs of doing business is to pay off 'renters' to cancel their lease and leave a building. Trouble is, there is a micro culture of entrepreneurs who speculate by renting in soon-to-be-developed buildings only to be paid off to leave. It's risky, but profitable.

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Now, he believes, radical activists are moving more towards a strategy of making Berlin "unattractive" to the incomers

 

So all the piles of dog crap on the streets are part of some grand conspiracy to get me out of here...? Good strategy! :rolleyes:

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