Why is it so hard to buy a flat in Munich?

157 posts in this topic

You are right Postmann I need more patience. I just needed a RANT after yet another disappointment yesterday...

Has anyone had any success with the newspaper approach? Just out of interest?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

My issue with it is that these are either sold to people with inside intel or to friends etc... and are not on the open market. That is the only issue I have.

What you can find on the net or on the pages of the marklers are the dregs of the dregs...

 

I was just hoping someone else was having the same frustating experiences that I was - and also hoping for a lucky break!

 

 

When we started searching for a house to buy, I also found that good properties at reasonable prices tended to be sold or reserved very quickly, often the same day as they were listed. So yes, you are right that some folks get inside intel. And you should get on the inside, too! It really isn't all that hard.

 

Take a look at which real estate agents tend to have the sort of property you want in the area you want. Then approach those maklers and give them your wish list. The better ones will put you on their mailing lists, or else will phone you when a potentially suitable property has become available. That means you will get first crack at any properties even before they are publicly listed. That's all there is to it.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My b/f is buying in central Munich (and yes 400k for 90 sqm, normal, for sure). I bought in Darmstadt - a similar market with high demand for the "right" places with at least 3 rooms but #7 in the German price league not #1 - some while back. (The 2-tier market I certainly recognise. The "goes like hotcakes" and the "stays on the market for years", it is very much "micro-location").

 

First things first. Munich is very expensive. If you are not in the 750k market, that is just the way it is. He is not. I am not. I was not in London either. (We might just possibly be together but the point is that individually we are not - 700k is usually not single person market). You are buying in one of the most expensive cities in the world. You have to find a place that fits your budget. Be pragmatic.

 

What I'd say from our experiences is that it is very much worth waiting. Better than spending a big sum on something that is not right for you. It can be frustrating but it is the right thing. I am so happy now I did not succumb to something that was not totally what I wanted but was "available". We both bought new build. Scour the local papers or the new blocks. Get in early. Reserve. We both did the same thing (and I at least learend how to do it from my German ex b/f - that is how they all do it). I am happy I bought new because the added value comes later - an apartment that is exactly what you want, that gives me so much value now :) . You do not pay an agent fee of course either.

 

The trick with new build is discrete block, not wider development. Mine went from nothing to complete in about a year, moved in one-month after expected date which to me is fine. Some other places I looked at (in 2007) are parts of still on-going builds!

 

If you have not written a spec of what you want, then do it. Makes it easier to filter out what you do not and so not waste time and get frustrated. You can just not bother with "not ground floor" or whatever you want (or not). Same with the money - if 400k for 90 sq m is not your market then specify what is.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Get in early. Reserve.

 

In our case, we made a reservation more than 6 months before the actual sales contract was available. Most of the development was reserved within days of the developer "opening it up" for reservation. I might add that we already were on waiting list from the previous development for another 6 months (as we didn't make it fast enough the first time round; so in essence, we got waitlisted for this particular property 12 months before signing a contract). Time from signing to completion is another 12 months (i.e. it takes them 12 months to build - if they manage to finish on time).

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mr Lodge the lettings agency do a newsletter every couple of months

The one in October (http://www.mrlodge.de/Newsletter_MrLodge_18102010.htm) confirms that it's tough finding a place

 

Tendenz: Kaufobjekte sind sehr knapp

Was früher Mietwohnungen waren, das gilt derzeit für 1-2-Zimmer Wohnungen zum Kauf in den wirklich gefragten Ausgehlagen. Diese Objekte sind unglaublich knapp und es werden ausgesprochen hohe Preise bezahlt. Morgens besichtigt und mittags verkauft ist nicht die Ausnahme sondern eher die Regel. Es gibt glaubwürdige Geschichten von Massenbesichtigungen bei Kaufimmobilien, die es so nur zu schlimmsten Zeiten auf dem Wohnungsmarkt gab. Es ist schwierig da als potentieller Käufer Geduld und Augenmaß zu behalten.

 

Set up immobilienscout24.de to email you all the flats that match your search criteria. It will do this every day and as soon as you receive it then get phoning.

Also the Suddeutsche has a good immobilien section, would be worth phoning sellers as soon as this come out (Thurs or Friday?)

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Indeed tom. You also have to remember German buying patterns. It is less of a "ladder" here. Plenty of Germans enter at at least 3 rooms, often more. With my block, the penthouses, 4 and 3 rooms went very fast (and in that order - when I got the only 3 room, the other bigger ones had gone but the two rooms were mainly still on offer). Almost everybody of a certain ilk wants that part of the market that most of us want too, unfortunately: decent-sized places in the best areas :o .

 

It is also easy for me to say because I did not do it this time (but of course did in the UK and would have done here had my favourite had one). I would not let an agent fee be a barrier to me. The good areas are worth living in, 20k is not that much over a lifetime of earnings (and you can earn it if you really have to) and you will recoup it anyway in the best areas.

 

What's more, wait a year (easy to do here) and prices may have gone up 20k anyway, so it is a false economy! Certainly here that is true - you hear the "I refused to buy /rent because of an agency fee and now I can't afford to live here / it's so much more expensive" . Maybe it is because I am in Finance but I am very aware that every 5% I could have refused to spend in 2007 would have cost me a 30%+ higher purchase price in 2011 had I not bought then. (On 250k, paying out 12k to avoid spending 85k 4 years later assuming that extra 85k has not "priced them out" seems to be a no brainer, yet so many people just will not do it "on principle"). I've also had non-cash benefits (settled life and so on).

 

Also, 400k? Something of a current cliche. There is a mania for buying right now among the 30-40 professional class (the low interest rates). Ask them how much they have to spend and it is pretty much always "oh, 400k". (It is getting hard not to be somewhat ironic, and I tend to prompt people on this: "you don't have to spend that much just because your mate / sibling / boss / a guy met in a cafe did, you should set your budget for you" ;) ). Small pad in expensive place? Average family house? Gigantic renovation in cheap area? Always 400k!

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OP- you might want to revisit your financials to confirm that it really would be better for you to rent than to buy, although if you are planning to stay in Munich for the rest of your life it's definitely better to buy. I almost bought a property in early 2009 but decided against it, a decision I am glad I made because the returns from the equity market since then have far outpaced any rise in price for that property.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks all for all the advice.

 

I think in order to be successful you just need to keep at it, all the time and don't let it get you down.

I am sure eventually something will come up.

At least we are not in Melbourne were you can end up at an auction and pay 100K over the asking price! I am glad that at least people tend to stick to the asking prices here and not really end up in a bidding war...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

This is basically a RANT, I cannot take it anyone, I would so love to get out the rent trap and live in an apartment with a bathroom larger than a broom cupboard but alas it is IMPOSSIBLE to try and buy a flat in Munich.

 

 

What has renting got to do with the size of the apartment you have? Just rent a bigger apartment. There is no rent trap - see blow.

 

 

UNLESS of course, you want something either: 1. In the middle of nowhere or worse a highrise 2. TOTALLY overpriced!

 

 

They are not overpriced, they are the prices. Munich is expensive. That is why there is no rent trap. It's almost always cheaper to rent than buy here.

 

Although what you're saying has a bit of fact to it. The deals on Immoscout are the bottom of the barrel, either overpriced or just not very good. The good stuff is sold before it makes it on there.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you should try giving Phil and Kirsty a call. They always manage to find a place on budget, even when it seems impossible...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why would I go to all the effort just to rent a bigger apartment? The point in to stop paying rent and to pay off my own home instead. Its not like Renting is any easier here, its also dead money that goes to a Makler and to your landlord every month!

 

There are overpriced! This is why they do not sell.

Why are people so aggressive. Everyone has a different strategy of what they want to do, I come from a family where we do not rent - I finally saved enough for the required deposit here and am just sad that either one does not have the money so one works hard to save it, and then when you have the money there is nothing to buy...its a little unfun really.

 

I have no issue with Munich being expensive, BUT i refuse to pay too much money for something frankly not worth it, I just wanted helpful advice on how to go about finding things that are not bottom of the barrel and if others were also frustrated and from the stories above it seems many other were - I mean 12mths on a waiting list for an apartment, not ideal.

 

Is anyone out there an agent? What has been your experiences?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The point in to stop paying rent and to pay off my own home instead.

 

Although I am an owner (outright) this "renting is dead money" really annoys me. If you rent, you do not incur capital costs (mortgage, repairs etc). Instead you can save an equivalent sum. If we assume the average German price is maybe 200k, over your adult working life of over 45 years, you only need to put maybe 3k away and have it grow decently (shares etc) to make that. For instnacr, I pay 1k p.a. just into my sinking fund - so 45k cash that I might expect to double over five decades just from that.

 

So to me, my apartment is just another form of saving. It could be in funds. With a mortgage, interest is also "dead money". To buy that 200k apartment, you actually pay out a heck of a lot more. My apartment may be paid for but that in no way makes it "free" (another myth). The cost is the money I have tied up in it. If I sold it tomorrow, the interest would pay my rent. I still pay to house myself. Owning is just one way to do it.

 

It may be counter-intuitive but the more expensive the property, often the more "worth it" it is. Expensive areas tend to become more expensive over time. Given your family expertise, you are no doubt familiar with "location, location, location" and "smallest place in the best address" and so on.

 

Also who here is being aggressive? (Apart from you, in your most recent post, I mean). Not what you want to hear maybe, but just the truth. You have also been given a ton of advice from people who have been through your experience - which is just what you asked for - and most people have said their experience is similar in most ways. Also - quite unusually for TT - the replies have been very, very consistent.

 

So I am not sure what more you were expecting really? I think the high prices in popular German places tend to come as a surprise to a lot of English speakers who get sold this "of course, everything abroad is dirt cheap, so that's your path to a large property of your choosing for peanuts". (Many Brits erroneously assume nowhere else can possibly be as expensive as London for instance, and indeed per sq m most are not, but you buy a bigger area so the absolute outlay is).

8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Prices in Munich may well be "over-priced", but it always depends upon what you are comparing them to.

Munich is one of the most expensive cities in Germany, and so you have to anticipate the housing market to reflect this.

As a percentage, the housing market doesn´t see a lot of "movement" on a yearly basis, so yes, you have to be very lucky to be in the right place at the right time to be able to purchase the right property.

Of course, you can opt for purchasing a property in one of the less popular regions of Munich - this is obviously reflected in the housing price, but you won´t have to pay quite as much...

Whilst I fully agree that renting is a "waste of money" (I'm British!), I think that in Munich it has become the norm simply due to the lack of properties that one would actually consider/be able to afford to purchase.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I am glad that at least people tend to stick to the asking prices here and not really end up in a bidding war...

 

 

We ended up in a bidding war with 7 other families.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Why would I go to all the effort just to rent a bigger apartment?

 

Because then you'll have a bigger apartment. Duh.

 

 

Its not like Renting is any easier here, its also dead money that goes to a Makler and to your landlord every month!

 

And the 150% of the purchase price that you give to your bank over the next quarter of a century isn't dead?

 

 

There are overpriced! This is why they do not sell.

 

They do not sell because people are not moving. Moving is a relatively expensive process and most Germans only purchase once in their life; they rent until their 40s or 50s, then buy their retirement home. The property market therefore has always been a lot slower here than, say, in the UK. On top of that, Munich is a boom area and people are not moving away.

 

You keep saying that the properties are overpriced, but you have nothing to back up this statement. Compared to cities like Zurich, London or Sydney, prices here are relatively low.

 

 

Why are people so aggressive.

 

The only aggressive person on this thread is you. Incidentally, your profile name is feminine but according to your profile you're male. It's very confusing.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree STB. This is the point I made earlier. The market is different here. You can also see it as "cheap" by world standards if you look at price per sq m. I can give you our maths. My local market is near 3500 per sq m for the good places now. We add on at least 30% for Munich. So that'd be 4500 or more. (Much in line with 400k for 75 sq m really). The other thing to remember is "prices don't rise in Germany" is an average that is very misleading. They very much do in the "wanted" areas. Mine has (and fast). All of my German family who bought in saw profits (they all buy "good areas" - Cologne, Freiberg, Konstanz, FFM etc as well as central DA and MU).

 

Pretty much everything people have contributed here rings a bell with me from my own experience (directly now for a second time and family members too). Not to mention all the info I have from local media and experts and residents as well. Yes the numbers are big but that is reality here.

 

The thing about the best places is that you can rail against the price or having to pay a makler or whatever. But, in the end, there is a queue of other people who will just get on with buying while you sit on the sidelines complaining (and watching prices rise). And getting on with living happily like pigs-in-the-proverbial in some of the best cities in Europe :) .

 

What maybe your search is saying is that central Munich is not the right market for you. That the price is not right. Or that the life you have there is not enough for you to pay this rate. Maybe you need to look more widely? Maybe you would like a whole house for that 400k or something (fine but not in this locale obviously)?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quote and be nasty all that you like.

I am not aggressive I was just disappointed with my experience. Let me know when you have the same feeling then I can reply to your post with sinde comments and smart arse quotes, if you have nothing helpful/nice/polite to add please don't add anything at all.

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Quote and be nasty all that you like.

I am not aggressive I was just disappointed with my experience. Let me know when you have the same feeling then I can reply to your post with sinde comments and smart arse quotes, if you have nothing helpful/nice/polite to add please don't add anything at all.

 

You know that there is an ongoing thread devoted solely to rants, right? Maybe you should have posted there instead.

 

Hutcho's point about inflation is a good one. It was fear of inflation that made me consider buying a property two years ago and if you expect a bout of high inflation in the years to come, a mortgage is a better hedge than even commodities (which may already be pricing in high inflation). However, there are more considerations to buying a property than macroeconomic predictions which may or may not come about.

 

If you think you'll have kids and expect to stay in Munich, I can heartily recommend child-friendly Messestadt Riem, where there are plenty of nurseries and a great park, plus as tom a accurately pointed out earlier, the prices are more agreeable than what you'll find in Haidhausen or Schwabing.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now