Your home is your castle

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Am Kaiserkai

No other German city has rental prices that are increasing as fast as Hamburg’s. The city is a more popular place to live than it has been in a long time and naturally this means rents are rising.

The latest available rent price comparison index published in 2011 lists an average rent of € 7.15 per sq m, which is 5.8 percent higher than in 2009. The highest-ever comparison index is expected in 2013. It shows that Hamburg’s rents are still rising faster than the cost of living. An above-average rise in rents is noticeable in fully equipped older buildings and small apartments in good locations.

The housing demand is also rising due to the increasing numbers of single-person households, which make up about 50 percent of all households. In addition, the city’s population has been increasing continuously. Since 1990, Hamburg has gained more than 140,000 residents and further growth is forecast.

The city has prepared for this and is making available inner-city plots for development. For example, there are lots of interesting new areas in the harbor region, such as HafenCity. You can also, as locals say, “make the jump over the Elbe,” which opens up additional residential areas in the southern part of the city. Despite this, the demand for more than 6,000 new homes a year in the city is still not being met, which is another reason why rents are rising.

If you’ve just moved to Hamburg, probably the best way to find the ideal home is to first rent a temporary apartment via a rental agency while you take your time to look around. Or you could move into a room with a small kitchen in an apartment hotel for the short term and have your own little kingdom. Daily newspapers, agencies, realtors and Internet portals can all put tenants in touch with landlords.

Landlords or housing agencies can also be approached directly. Hamburg’s largest rental company, the SAGA GWG Group, manages about 130,000 properties throughout the city. Or you could join a residential building cooperative where you’ll no longer be just a tenant but rather a communal owner of the respective cooperative..