29 August 2016
The recent arrival of real estate companies with a focus on Berlin reflects the global trend of German property investment
All eyes are on Germany’s capital city and for good reason. With low level real estate entry prices and a very bright future, it is no coincidence that global investors are directing their money to this glimmering crown of Europe.
Buy Berlin is the first specialist real estate company to launch its Berlin-focused services to Hong Kong having been introduced to the local market by Fifth Element.
Jonathan Benarr, founder of Fifth Element, says, “We really feel that we are pioneering something new. Helping Buy Berlin enter Hong Kong means local investors can invest into Berlin real estate with a fully supportive turnkey service provider.”
Buy Berlin was established ten years ago in Germany, providing foreign investors with specialist services for the Berlin property market, and has just opened its first Asian office in Hong Kong.
Darrell Smith, founder of Buy Berlin, says “Hong Kong was a natural choice for us. It is a city of experienced investors who welcome the opportunities that new markets bring. We are solely focused on Berlin real estate – no other company knows the city like we do – and we know that Hong Kong will turn to Berlin in the same way it did to London, New York and Sydney. This is the capital city of Europe’s powerhouse and yet real estate prices are still well below where they should be. With only HKD400,000 to invest, a Hong Kong person could quite easily own an apartment in Berlin and have only 54% owing on the mortgage.”
Berlin is attracting a lot of interest for a number of key reasons – 0% CGT after ten years is ideal for longer term investors; prices are lower than in all the other major German cities and yet Berlin is the country’s capital; inward investment is going into substantial development and infrastructure projects around the city; and did we mention free university education for all?
Whilst there are companies, such as Buy Berlin, who operate as an independent real estate agency for the German market, there are others such as Fifth Element, who work in partnership with agencies and developers to provide consultancy and advice for Asian investors, both individual and institutional.
Jonathan Benarr, founder of property consultancy Fifth Element, says he established the company in Hong Kong because of the apparent gap that needed filling.
He says, “Hong Kong is an international market place for global real estate with weekly exhibitions covering cities from the UK, America, Canada, Australia, Thailand, Singapore – even Mongolia – yet a glaring omission to this landscape was German real estate, an internationally sought-after asset class. We now want to open this market up to residential investors by removing as many of the barriers to entry as possible, starting with educating potential investors on the market, the process, the few cons and the considerable pros.”
Many countries, including Canada and Australia, have introduced taxes to deter foreign investors and whilst London is still a golden market, its real estate values are going ever skyward making it increasingly difficult to enter. Berlin is unique because it offers a European Tier One capital city at Tier Three pricing, unheard of anywhere else, making it ideal for both new investors and those wishing to broaden their portfolio.
It isn’t without its complications though. German bureaucracy is renowned for its challenging nature not to mention the difficulties that a different language can bring when investing overseas.
Moreover, the quality of property management in Berlin has traditionally been poor, with none of the standard services that international investors have come to expect being offered, such as tax advice, property checks and tenant reviews.
Darrell Smith continues: “Buy Berlin offers a full turnkey package for investors, from tax support to advice on legal issues. We have English, German and Chinese speakers in our offices. We find tenants for the properties, both corporate and individual, and our personal service extends to the tenants too – we do our best to make them feel at home as quickly as possible with round-the-clock assistance, welcome packs and a check-in team on hand.”
It could be argued that Germany has only one significant metropolis, Berlin; a young city that for some time has not been suited to the sophisticated tastes of the Hong Kong market. There are some who feel it still isn’t, which is what Buy Berlin and Fifth Element are looking to correct with their arrival onto Hong Kong’s shores.
Buy Berlin Investments is an independent property company that provides turnkey services to global investors, both individual and institutional, who wish to purchase real estate in Germany’s capital city, Berlin.
Established over ten years ago, the company recently expanded into Asia with the opening of its Hong Kong office, providing on the ground customer service in English, German and Chinese.
Buy Berlin supports its clients every step of the way – it seeks the very best properties, assists investors through the intricacies of financing, taxation and German legalities, and provides ongoing asset management in the form of property management, rentals, furnishings and eventual resale.
Fifth Element is a Hong Kong based consultancy that assists Asian investors, wealth managers and fund managers wishing to access European commercial and residential real estate markets, in particular Germany, the UK and Spain.
Fifth Element also works with European property developers and asset managers to identify strategic partners for acquisition, funding and distribution.
+852 6340 9828
房價價格低廉，極具升值前景，德國–這顆歐洲明珠吸引著全球投資者的目光。對于本港投資者而言，德國地產還有些許陌生，不過相信Buy Berlin的到來會讓許多投資者受益非淺。十年前，Buy Berlin在柏林成立，為海外投資者提供德國地產投資一站式服務。如今，Buy Berlin將在香港成立其亞洲總部。
Buy Berlin創始人Darrell Smith稱，在香港成立亞洲總部是自然而然的事，香港投資者心態開放，敢于冒險。我們只做柏林地產買賣業務，務求比任何一家公司都了解這座曼妙城市；同時我們也堅信，正如倫敦，紐約和悉尼一樣，柏林也會獲得投資者們的青睞。柏林，這座歐洲心臟城市的房價現階段遠低于市值。僅需40萬港幣，香港人便可擁有一套屬于自己的柏林公寓。
除了Buy Berlin這樣的專業柏林地產中介，其他公司如Fifth Element帝屋，也正積極與地產發展商和中介合作，為亞洲投資者提供最佳投資方案。
Fifth Element帝屋創始人Jonathan Benarr談到，在香港成立公司是為了填補投資者缺失的信息。
Buy Berlin十年磨劍，為投資者進行一站式投資服務，從稅務到法務，投資者無需擔心。精通英文，德文和中文的職員為投資者全程跟進。除了物業買賣，Buy Berlin還為個人或者公司尋找租戶也為租戶提供租賃日常管理，讓租客賓至如歸。
有人會說，德國只有柏林這一個都會，無法滿足香港投資者的多重要求。讓本港投資者打消這個疑慮放心投資是Buy Berlin和Fifth Element帝屋的共同愿景。