Real estate as an investment has already proven to be crisis-resistant on several occasions. Historically, fluctuations in the value of real estate have been significantly lower than fluctuations in the value of the capital market, for example. In addition, when rented out, real estate offers the advantage of a regular source of income that can usually also be used to cover all the property's running costs. With the regular rent increases, the return on the real estate investment also rises regularly.
However, these yields can vary greatly depending on the type of property and, above all, on the location. In popular regions, higher prices are to be expected, which means that subsequent returns could be lower. Investors must weigh up here to what extent they want to accept yield losses due to a prestigious location or whether other regions could also represent an attractive investment opportunity for them.
When deciding on a real estate investment, various factors must be weighed against each other in order to find the most suitable investment for oneself and one's goals. One of the most important factors to consider is the gross rental yield - the ratio of purchase price to annual rental income. However, the resulting value is only an initial guide, as the actual return can be much higher due to tax savings or depreciation. A current evaluation by the ImmoScout24 portal shows where the highest rental yields can be achieved in Germany. In the data collection, the offer purchase price of condominiums was put in relation to the offer rent on ImmoScout24. The result of dividing the purchase price (excluding incidental purchase costs) by the annual cold rent is the gross rental yield. For the values of asking rents and asking purchase prices in the metropolitan regions, ImmoScout24 used data from the WohnBarometer from Q2 2023.
The comparison of rental yields for new-build apartments in the seven major German cities is led by Berlin. On ImmoScout24, a new-build apartment in the German capital is offered for an average of just under 500,000 euros. The average annual rent is a good 15,000 euros. This results in a rental yield in Berlin of around 3.1 percent.
Due to the size of Berlin, it is also worth taking a look at the rental yields between the different districts. For example, the real estate portal miete-aktuell.de quotes a rental yield of 5.00% for the borrow of Alt-Treptow. The districts of Friedrichshain (4.00%), Charlottenburg (3.70%) and Zehlendorf (3.70%) are also above the Berlin average according to the portal.
The other top 7 locations in Germany offer rental yields of between around 2 and 3 percent. Although the rental yield is reduced by the higher purchase prices, the advantage in these locations lies in the greater rental security due to the strong influx into the metropolitan areas. The unbroken high level of demand is extremely valuable, particularly in times of economic fluctuation, because this gives investors planning security, as there is hardly any risk of vacancies. The vacancy rate in Berlin is less than one percent, which means that anyone who has an apartment will always get it rented. According to the official population forecast until 2040 by the city of Berlin, the districts of Pankow (+9.0%), Treptow-Köpenick (+9.0%) and Mitte (+5.9%) in particular can expect a strong influx. However, the districts of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf and Neukölln also expect population growth of 2.3 % and 2.0 % respectively by 2040.
If you want to broaden your horizons, you should also look for suitable investment opportunities away from the well-known metropolitan regions. Because according to Immoscout24, smaller cities offer some of the highest average rental yields in Germany.
Among the ten cities and districts with the highest average rental yields for existing apartments in Germany, the state of Saxony-Anhalt is the most frequently represented. Top rental yields of up to 5.4 percent were measured here, a good 2 percentage points more than in most metropolitan regions. Saxony is also represented several times in the top 10 for prime yields, with two placements. Here, a rental yield of 4.9 percent on average is determined in the Vogtlandkreis and Plauen districts. The highest rental yield for new apartments in Germany is achieved in the Saarland district of Neunkirchen, at 4.0 percent. In the new federal states and in locations away from the metropolitan regions, investors can benefit from lower average purchase prices and thus higher rental yields.
However, smaller towns in the catchment areas of large metropolitan areas often offer attractive opportunities for landlords, as the purchase prices have not yet reached the level of the big city, but they are very popular with tenants due to their proximity to them. An example of this is Neuss, which borders directly on the North Rhine-Westphalian metropolis and state capital Düsseldorf. According to the portal miete-aktuell.de, an attractive rental yield of 4.0% can also be profited from here.
The acquisition of residential property can still be seen as a sensible investment despite, or precisely because of, economically uncertain times. After all, even though the economic weakness led to declines in value on the market for condominiums last year, this asset class remains on a long-term growth trajectory. For investors, rental yields remain an important indicator of the potential of an investment. The evaluation by ImmoScout24 shows that the capital Berlin offers the most attractive returns. Investors willing to consider alternative locations to the well-known ones can benefit from some of the highest rental yields in Germany in some regions of Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony.