New-build apartments Hamburg 2015

Fewer properties and stagnating prices

Press release | Hamburg

Prices for new-build apartments in Hamburg rose by far less in 2015, following the price surge seen in 2014. A survey by Grossmann & Berger reveals that, with reference to all Hamburg, the average square-metre price fell by 3.3% to €4,640/m² of living space, but over a five-year period it had risen by 11.5%. In the top-16 city districts* prices declined year on year by 4.7% to €5,620/m² of living space, but the five-year increase was more pronounced at 21.1%. However, Grossmann & Berger noted a significant increase in prices in the eleven city districts identified as “hidden stars**.” These are less central districts with a notable supply of new-build apartments for sale. Here the average square-metre price rose by 11.5% in the space of a year to €4,080/m² of living space. Over the past five years the price increase has also been an especially robust 27.9%. “The year on year drop in prices for all Hamburg and the top 16 districts is purely statistical,” explains Frank Stolz, head of new builds at Grossmann & Berger. “Nowhere in Hamburg have the prices for new-build apartments really declined. But the supply has been more plentiful in the districts and locations where properties sell for less.”

New-build apartments Hamburg 2015New-build apartments Hamburg 2015
Less property available for second year running
In all Hamburg Grossmann & Berger noted 1,588 new-build apartments coming onto the market in 2015, offering total living space of 151,722 m² in 79 projects. This translates into 3.5% fewer units and some 2.5% less living space than 2014. Some 38% or 599 units with 63,453 m² in 29 developments were located in the top 16 city districts. The number of units available in 2015 thus fell by 18.5% and the amount of space by 9.3% compared with 2014. “Absolutely no new apartments were available in HafenCity, Hohenfelde, St. Pauli, Sternschanze and Winterhude in 2015”, says Stolz. The focal points for new-builds, accounting for 248 units and share of some 41% of the total, were Altona Altstadt/Altona North, where several developments in “Central Altona” went on sale. 246 new-build apartments were offered for sale in the hidden stars, where 17 developments were creating 23,166 m² of living space. Compared with 2014, however, this meant 23% fewer new-build units and 27% less living space.

Average top 16 apartment is appreciably bigger
In 2015, for the third year in a row, the parameters for the average new-build apartment in all Hamburg were practically unchanged at 96 m² of living space and 3.1 rooms. The average new-build unit in the top 16 city districts measured 106 m² of living space in 2015, 11 m² more than in 2014. Since 2012 the average number of rooms per dwelling in the top 16 districts had steadily fallen from a starting figure of 3.4; in 2015 the trend was reversed with a 0.2 rise to 3.2 rooms. The average new-build apartment in the hidden stars offered 94 m² of living space, 5 m² less than in the prior year. And the average number of rooms sank by 0.3 to 3.1. “There are noticeable differences in the average prices per new-build apartment. In the top 16 districts buyers pay an average price of €629,000 for a new apartment, whereas the figure for all Hamburg is €465,470 and for dwellings in the hidden stars ‘a mere’ €385,700,” says Stolz.

Renaissance of the four-room apartment
If dwellings in all Hamburg are classified by number of rooms, the ratios remained very similar in 2015. As in the years before, the biggest segment of the market was the three-room apartment, accounting for 37%, although this was the first time since 2010 that its share had dipped below 40%. Instead the number of four-room apartments grew by a single-digit percentage (to about 29%) as did that of two-room apartments (to about 25%). “Demand for four-room apartments has risen considerably, which surprised us to start with,” says Stolz. “However, four-room apartments today are 20 m² smaller than they were ten years ago. Thanks to interest rates at record low levels, they are affordable, despite the price increase.” The share of one-room flats was unchanged at 1.7% (27 altogether). 63% of the one-room apartments were to be found in the top 16 districts.

Highest average square-metre price paid in Rotherbaum
With an average square-metre price of €11,670/m² in 2015 Rotherbaum was the most expensive of the top 16 districts, overtaking the front runners of 2014, HafenCity and Harvestehude. “There was just one new development in Rotherbaum. It was the only recorded project in which even the lowest price per square metre was a five-figure one,” says Stolz. The next-highest average prices were posted in HafenCity (€9,500/m² of living space; figure from 2014 as nothing on the market in 2015) and St. Georg (€8,590/m²). “Prices have risen steeply even for projects in very good locations but without views of the Alster Lake or the River Elbe, such as Eppendorf. Following the hiatus of 2014, the average price shot up in this district by 51 per cent to €7,080/m² of living space,” adds Stolz. The lowest average price in any top 16 district was the €4,210/m² of living space charged in Eilbek/Hohenfelde. Looking at all Hamburg, the cheapest new-build apartment offered for sale in 2015 was in Bergedorf, costing €163,000 – an average price of €2,630/m² of living space. The most expensive new-build unit was noted in HafenCity at a price well above €25,000/m² of living space.

No experiments with non-central developments
“People building houses in Hamburg can afford to be more daring,” says Stolz. “Thanks to improvements in noise insulation, ventilation and lighting systems, buyers can still be found for apartments on main roads or facing north-east. What people traditionally demand of a home is changing.” The better the location of the development, the more compromises buyers will accept with regards to other parameters; the further from the centre a project is, the less potential buyers are prepared to buy into experiments. “There has been a marked change in attitudes to mobility. The closer to the centre a development is, the less demand there is for parking spaces,” says Stolz. “Building is more complicated and expensive; and in respect of the time required to obtain building permits, it has become a real challenge. Building land is scarce. In the mean time some builders have decided to specialize in small developments with no more than ten units and are thus competing with buyers of classic single-family homes.” Nevertheless, the number of developments of this size was much reduced in 2015 compared with prior years. Because certain market parameters – economic health, new arrivals, interest rates – seem unlikely to change a great deal, Stolz expects to see continued strong demand in 2016 and further price increases. “However, the number of units and their location will determine how great the increase is.”

* Grossmann & Berger counts the following 21 city districts, conflated into 16 residential areas, as the top 16 with the highest level of new-building activity: Alsterdorf, Altona-Altstadt/Altona North, Barmbek South, Eilbek/Hohenfelde, Eimsbüttel/Hoheluft West, Eppendorf/Hoheluft East, HafenCity, Harvestehude, Lokstedt, Othmarschen, Ottensen, Rotherbaum, St. Georg, St. Pauli/Sternschanze, Uhlenhorst and Winterhude.

** Grossmann & Berger counts the following eleven districts as hidden stars in respect of new-builds: Bramfeld, Eidelstedt, Fuhlsbüttel, Hummelsbüttel, Langenhorn, Ohlsdorf, Rahlstedt, Rissen, Schnelsen, Stellingen, Sülldorf.

The full market survey will soon be available to download from our website.

Permission is given to print the attached charts and visuals (source: Grossmann & Berger).

Current new-build projects in the top 16 district of Rotherbaum (Medio, Mittelweg 164) and in the hidden star district of Rissen (Rissenpark, Rissener Landstrasse 195) from Grossmann & Berger.

Press contact

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Britt Finke

Bleichenbrücke 9
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