A pedestrian crosses a bridge on the River Main as skyscrapers stand beyond in Frankfurt, Germany. (Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg)

How to Go House Shopping in Frankfurt: A Real Estate Guide

(Bloomberg) -- As Brexit looms and some 30 financial institutions make plans to relocate their home offices to Frankfurt, thousands of bankers are suddenly faced with the prospect of relocation. Others have already begun to make the move.

The city that PricewaterhouseCoopers ranked fifth for investment prospects in 2019 has seen a population increase of more than 10 percent since 2012, according to a report by real estate brokerage Engel & Voelkers. Unlike in other German cities, many residential towers pierce the sky here, but with 1,000 new residents moving to the downtown “Mainhattan” district each month since the Brexit vote, the market is getting squeezed.

“Prices are still rising, especially in central locations,” says Olivier Peters of Peters & Peters Sotheby’s International Realty brokerage in Frankfurt. Prices overall have spiked 10 percent over the last year, according to Handelsblatt, a leading German-language business newspaper.

How to Go House Shopping in Frankfurt: A Real Estate Guide

Homes in sought-after neighborhoods  such as the leafy Diplomat Quarter or the park-adjacent Sachsenhausen sell for around €6,500 to €8,000 ($7,400 to $9,100) per square meter. (That’s $560 to $748 per square foot.) It’s “still lower, compared to other major Brexit contenders,” Peters notes. But it’s a substantial growth over the past, says Daniel Ritter, chief executive officer of Von Poll Real Estate, headquartered in Frankfurt. He’s seen homes “costing around 70 percent more than 10 years ago.” Expect that number to grow ever larger.

Fortunately, there are no restrictions against foreigners buying real estate in Frankfurt, as long as they have a German bank account, so transactions can be swift. (Mortgages are less easy to come by.) Below, you’ll find some fresh listings that are comparatively cheap in relation to similar homes in such Brexodus cities as Paris or Luxembourg. 

Sachsenhausen

This popular, tony residential area seems to feature more villa-style homes than any other neighborhood. Residents choose it for park-like gardens and proximity to the cultural centers, such as the beloved Staedel Museum.

Garden Villa

How to Go House Shopping in Frankfurt: A Real Estate Guide

This 3,700-square-foot house near the municipal forest has a double-sided fireplace that anchors a double-height living room, plus a sunny breakfast room, mezzanine-level bedrooms for added privacy, and a large garden. Price: $5.96 million

Classical Modern Maisonette with Pool

How to Go House Shopping in Frankfurt: A Real Estate Guide

With a sprawling terrace overlooking a lawn and pool, this 4,300-square-foot residence is the perfect blend of city and country, from the elegant staircase and cascading Murano chandelier to the wellness area with a sauna. A Bulthaup kitchen awaits home chefs eager to cook for those lucky enough to sleep in the four bedrooms. Price: $4.6 million

Suburban Living in the City

How to Go House Shopping in Frankfurt: A Real Estate Guide

Engel & Völkers is currently listing an eight-room modern villa with an indoor pool and expansive garden just off the Schweizerstrasse, the heart of Sachsenhausen. With frigid winters, an indoor pool and gym might just be the feature that seals the deal. Price: $2.26 million

Top-Floor Maisonette

How to Go House Shopping in Frankfurt: A Real Estate Guide

Taking over the fourth and fifth floors of a classic 1901 house, this rooftop maisonette has its own elevator, balcony, and sauna. There’s custom parquet floors and carpentry across the apartment. Price: $1.63 million

Diplomat Quarter

The Diplomat Quarter is one of Frankfurt’s most sought-after areas. It’s defined by wide streets and well-kept villas shrouded in lots of greenery. Since consulates truly do hang their flags here, security is tight—an added bonus for many prospective buyers.

Seven-Bedroom Modernized Villa

How to Go House Shopping in Frankfurt: A Real Estate Guide

This 5,300-square-foot villa was last renovated in 2006, but it looks clean and airy, with chevron wood floors and a neutral palette. A sunny, gated garden, a spacious kitchen with Poggenpohl and Gaggenau appliances, custom built-ins in the library, and a restored bannister help justify the price tag. Price: $6.76 million

Europa Garden

In one of Frankfurt’s newest neighborhoods, former freight yards were converted to high rises, parks, and shopping streets right in the city center. A metro station should be arriving soon.

Tower Dwelling

How to Go House Shopping in Frankfurt: A Real Estate Guide

The 1,800-square-foot apartment on the 11th floor of the award-winning Axis Tower delivers privacy and security in a location that’s hard to beat. One of the two balconies faces south for sunset views over the Taunus River. Three bedrooms are bright and spacious; the master bedroom is attached to a dressing room and en-suite bathroom with a walk-in shower. Unlike most German buildings, this one, built in 2016, has a doorman, a high-design lounge, and an interior court. Price: $1.63 million

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