Buying real estate in Germany?

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Buying a property in Hamburg: a complete guide

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property investment Hamburg

Yes, the analysis of Hamburg's property market is included in our pack

Have you ever considered purchasing a property in Hamburg? You're not alone!

Many people are charmed by Hamburg's maritime flair and dream of owning a waterfront property or a stylish city apartment in this city.

Is it worth investing there, though? Are property prices increasing in Hamburg? What is the price per sqm? Should you consider buying in St. Pauli or Altona? And the taxes? Where can you get a yield above 7%?

We've got it all sorted. No worries.

The Investropa team has extensively researched this market. As a matter of fact, we've compiled all our findings in one pack. Get it now.

In the lines below, we will share some of this knowledge.

How is the property market in Hamburg?

Is the property market thriving or struggling? We'll find the answers through data analysis.

Property types

In Hamburg, there are various types of properties available for sale to cater to different preferences and needs.

These include apartments, suitable for individuals or small families, often found in residential buildings; single-family homes with private outdoor spaces, ideal for larger families seeking more space; townhouses that offer a blend of space and community living; and commercial properties like offices or shops for those interested in business opportunities.

Additionally, there might be plots of land available for those looking to build their own custom homes.

Each property type offers unique features and benefits, giving buyers a range of options to choose from in Hamburg's real estate market.

Should you buy or rent?

(If you're keeping it for yourself and not renting it)

If Hamburg is your city of choice, you may be contemplating whether to buy or rent a property in this lively port city of Germany.

Without a doubt, you should buy if you want to acquire equity and have a more secure and stable living situation.

Actually, the property price-to-rent ratio is a good metric to look at for this kind of decision. You can use this number to see how long it will take to recover the property's cost through rental earnings.

According to Numbeo, the property price-to-rent ratio in Hamburg is around 37.02, which is very high.

It indicates that buying a property is more expensive in the short term compared to renting. However, buying can still be a viable option if you plan to live in Hamburg for an extended period or if you think property values will increase.

Property prices in Hamburg

On average, according to the last data from Europace AG, Germany, purchasing a property in Hamburg would cost you around $8,600 per square meter.

Obviously, there is a significant spread. A riverfront property in Hamburg might have a different price per square meter than an apartment in St. Pauli. We actually give you a more detailed breakdown in our pack for buying property in Hamburg and in Germany.

To put things in perspective, it is close to the prices you can find in a city like Auckland.

Also, it's good to know that housing prices in Hamburg are higher (8%) than in Frankfurt.

The most expensive neighbourhoods in Hamburg are probably Blankenese, Harvestehude, and Eppendorf, while the cheapest neighbourhoods include Billstedt, Wilhelmsburg, and Harburg.

Hamburg Property Price per Square Meter


First and foremost, we have to acknowledge that Germany is, today, an incredibly stable country. The last Fragile State Index that has been reported for this place is 23.6.

Keep this in view when pondering the viability of buying a property in in Hamburg.

Also, according to the IMF’s forecasts, Germany's economy is expected to soar by 6% in the coming 5 years, resulting in an average GDP growth rate of 1.2%.

If you want to invest in real estate in Hamburg it's a good thing because, usually, when the economy grows, people make more money, and this encourages them to invest in real estate, which drives up the demand and prices for properties.

Also, in Germany, the average GDP per capita has changed by 0.2% over the last 5 years. It's not much, but the growth is here.

Looking for more updated data? We've done a big-picture study to find out if it's a good idea to purchase property in Germany right now.

Buying property in Hamburg

Buying real estate in Hamburg can be difficult due to the lack of reliable and up-to-date information available. That's why we have created the pack to buy property in Hamburg and in Germany.

Buying process

In our pack, we've explained the entire buying process in detail. We've provided clear information about prices and yields based on the area, guidance on negotiating the price, and options for securing a mortgage.

Now, we're offering you a simpler version, step-by-step, to make it easier for you to grasp.

This is the step-by-step process to purchase a property in Hamburg:

  1. Check the local property market regulations and zoning laws in Hamburg.
  2. Get a tax number and open a German bank account.
  3. Engage a certified Hamburg-based real estate agent.
  4. Visit properties with your agent and review their Exposé (property details).
  5. Make a binding written offer (Kaufangebot) with a deposit to the seller.
  6. Negotiate terms, conditions, and price with the seller.
  7. Sign a notarized purchase agreement (Kaufvertrag) prepared by a German notary.
  8. Complete a thorough property inspection and get a valuation report.
  9. Secure a mortgage loan, if needed, with a German lender.
  10. Transfer the purchase price to the notary's escrow account.
  11. Attend the property closing (Grundbuchamt) to transfer the ownership officially.
  12. Register the property with the local authorities (Einwohnermeldeamt) and obtain property insurance.

Also, if you're not from the country, you might want to check our article on how to buy property as a foreigner in Germany.

Make a profitable investment in Hamburg

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buying property in Hamburg

Where to find a property

Looking for properties in Hamburg? These websites can help:

  • Engel & Völkers - A real estate agency in Munich, providing personalized advice for buying and selling exclusive properties.
  • Rightmove - A property portal offering houses and apartments for sale and rent in Germany.
  • Buy Berlin - A real estate company specializing in property sales and furnished rentals in Berlin, offering a range of apartments in various neighborhoods.
  • Rentola - A rental home search engine, offering over 13,000 available rental homes with price comparison and customer support.
  • Deutsche Wohnen - A rental property platform by Deutsche Wohnen, offering apartments and commercial rental offers with customer service for tenants.

Also, know that we have included contacts of real estate agencies, property lawyers, moving companies, expats communities and more in our pack for buying property in Germany.

What properties?

As mentioned before, the average price per sqm in Hamburg is $8,600. A 1-bedroom property with 60 square meters would cost approximately $516,000, and a 2-bedroom with 85 square meters would cost approximately $731,000.

However, prices will differ based on the attributes of the property and its specific location.

High-end property locations in Hamburg usually have higher price points. If you're thinking about Blankenese, a house might be around $1,630,000, but a condominium in Rotherbaum could be priced at $910,000.

Of course, some areas are cheaper. You could find a property in Billstedt for $400,000, or you might discover a property in Lohbrügge priced at only $330,000.

Find a more detailed price list in our full pack for buying property in Germany.

Mistakes to avoid

Here are the main pitfalls when buying a property in Hamburg, Germany:

  • Preservation Laws: Historical buildings may have strict preservation regulations that limit renovation possibilities.
  • "Erbbaurecht" Properties: Be cautious with leasehold properties, as you don't own the land but only the building.
  • Flooding Risks: Parts of Hamburg are prone to flooding, so assess the property's flood risk and insurance coverage.
  • Energy Efficiency Standards: Ensure the property meets German energy efficiency requirements to avoid costly renovations.
  • German Language Contracts: Seek professional translation to understand complex legal jargon in property contracts.
  • Property Taxation: Familiarize yourself with Germany's property tax system, which can vary by location and property type.
  • Rental Restrictions: Some areas have rental caps, limiting potential rental income for investment properties.
  • Homeowner Association Rules: Research and understand the regulations set by the homeowner association if the property is part of one.

We don't want this to happen to you, so we have included a full checklist for your property investment in our pack of documents. Avoid these mistakes and save a lot of money.

real estate Germany

Everything you need to know is included in our Germany Property Pack

Living in Hamburg

Living in Hamburg is a great choice as it offers a vibrant city life with plenty of cultural and recreational activities, as well as a strong economy and a high quality of life.

Cost of living

The cost of living in Hamburg is generally higher than the national average. However, the cost of housing is relatively low in comparison to other German cities.

Here are some examples to better understand the cost of living in Hamburg:

  • Monthly rent for a stylish apartment in the Schanzenviertel neighborhood: €1,200-€2,000.
  • A Franzbrötchen (local cinnamon pastry) at a bakery: €1-€2.
  • Monthly public transportation pass for AB zones: €80-€100.
  • A bottle of local Hamburg craft beer (e.g., Ratsherrn or Kehrwieder): €2-€4.
  • Admission to Miniatur Wunderland: €10-€15.
  • Monthly membership at a unique Hamburg-style gym or CrossFit box: €50-€80.
  • Fresh seafood from the historic Fischmarkt for a week: €30-€50.
  • A bottle of Helbing Kümmel (local caraway liqueur) from a liquor store: €10-€20.


Since we want to present information in a clear and reader-friendly way, we've created a summary table outlining the different neighborhoods in Hamburg. For yields, prices and rents, check our property pack.

Neighborhood Description Strengths Weaknesses


Altona is a vibrant neighborhood with a mix of modern architecture and historic charm. It's known for its lively cultural scene and beautiful waterfront views.

Rich cultural life, picturesque waterfront, diverse dining options.

High cost of living, limited parking spaces.


Bergedorf is a tranquil neighborhood with a small-town feel. It's characterized by its well-preserved historical buildings and green spaces.

Charming old town, peaceful atmosphere, close to nature.

Limited nightlife, longer commute to city center.


Eimsbüttel is a popular residential area with tree-lined streets and numerous parks. It offers a wide range of shops, cafes, and restaurants.

Green spaces, good public transport, bustling shopping districts.

Limited nightlife, potential traffic congestion.


Hamburg-Mitte is the city center and the heart of commercial and cultural activities. It's home to famous landmarks, museums, and shopping streets.

Central location, excellent public transport links, historic landmarks.

Noisy due to traffic, higher crime rates compared to suburbs.


Hamburg-Nord is a diverse neighborhood with a mix of residential and commercial areas. It houses Hamburg Airport and several parks.

Proximity to the airport, various recreational spots, good infrastructure.

Can be noisy near the airport, traffic congestion during peak hours.


Harburg is a district with a blend of urban and rural elements. It features a historic center, industrial areas, and beautiful riverbanks.

Historic charm, green spaces, affordable housing options.

Some industrial areas, limited public transport connections.


Wandsbek is a lively neighborhood with a mix of residential and commercial zones. It offers a variety of shopping opportunities and recreational facilities.

Shopping options, diverse leisure activities, good schools.

Busy traffic, crowded during peak hours.

Life in Hamburg

Hamburg is one of the most prosperous cities in Germany, with a strong port and a large service sector. The city is home to many international companies and is a major hub for finance and media.

What expats usually like the most in Hamburg is the vibrant nightlife and the excellent public transport system. They also enjoy the city's diverse cultural offerings, from its museums and galleries to its many festivals.

Unfortunately, we can't say there is no crime in Hamburg (the crime rate index is around 42, which is not so favorable. Examples of crimes in Hamburg include pickpocketing, shoplifting, car theft, vandalism, drug dealing, and assault, which are all crimes that typically occur within the local population and do not usually affect the expatriate population.

A good point for a property investor - Hamburg has an extensive mass rapid transit system, consisting of five S-Bahn lines, five U-Bahn lines, and many bus and ferry routes.

Access to healthcare in Hamburg is more than excellent, with a Healthcare Index of 76. A strong healthcare setup always reflects positively on real estate.

Finally, it is worth noting that the University of Hamburg ranks among the top 150 universities in the world.

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Renting out in Hamburg

This section is for you if your goal is to buy a property and rent it out to generate income.


Tenant Profiles in Hamburg

According to the data reported by Wikipedia, the home ownership rate in Germany is 49%, which is quite low.

It means that, if you decide to buy and rent out in Hamburg, there will be a significant tenant pool. It's a good thing.

If you decide to buy and rent out to long-term tenants, you should target young professionals, students, and families. Hamburg is also a popular destination for expats, so you should also consider targeting this group.

Here is a little summary table we've made for you.

Property type and area Profiles of potential tenants What they are looking for Expected monthly rent in $

Apartment in St. Pauli

Youth, professionals

Urban lifestyle, nightlife

$700 - $1,800

Studio in Eimsbüttel

Young professionals, students

Central location, cafes

$600 - $1,500

House in Blankenese

Families, expats

Suburban living, nature

$1,000 - $2,500

Condo in Altona

Young professionals, couples

Modern living, amenities

$800 - $2,000

2-Bedroom Apartment in Winterhude

Families, working professionals

Residential area, facilities

$900 - $2,200

Penthouse in HafenCity

Executives, upscale renters

Luxury living, city views

$1,500 - $3,500

1-Bedroom Apartment in Ottensen

Singles, young professionals

Trendy neighborhood, lifestyle

$700 - $1,500

Rental yields

As of today, rental yields in Hamburg are floating around 2 or 3%. It's low. A good rental yield is typically considered to be around 7% or higher.

Rental yields in Hamburg are highest for properties located in city centre areas, such as St. Pauli and Altona, due to the high demand for living space in these areas. Additionally, properties in the city's outer districts, such as Eimsbüttel and Billstedt, can also offer good yields due to their more affordable prices.

For further explanation and a more detailed breakdown, you can check the reports and analyses we have made.

Finally, be aware that rental incomes in Hamburg are taxed at 10%, which is very advantageous.


You could also decide to rent short-term to business travellers and tourists visiting Hamburg for events such as the Hamburg Marathon or the Harbour Birthday celebrations. Additionally, students attending a university in Hamburg may also be interested in short-term rental options.

If you decide to go with that option, look for properties in the Altona-Altstadt district or the St. Pauli district. These areas have a high demand for short-term rentals and offer great potential for rental income.

Currently, there are approximately 2,900 active Airbnb listings in Hamburg, reflecting a highly dynamic and bustling short-term rental market. The average daily rate stands around $129.

You have the opportunity to generate a nice additional income stream then. According to online testimonials and analytics platform like AirDNA, Guesty and Inside Airbnb, people who offer short-term rentals in Hamburg can make around $2100 per month. Also, the average occupancy rate is estimated at 86%.

Is it worth buying real estate in Hamburg then?

Buying property in Hamburg is a smart move for those who plan to make this vibrant city their long-term home, value stability, and are willing to invest for potential appreciation. If you're in it for the long haul and want the security of homeownership, Hamburg offers a unique maritime charm and a thriving cultural scene. While the initial costs might be high, owning a property provides equity and a sense of permanence. Plus, with Hamburg's relatively stable property market and projected economic growth, your investment can pay off over time as property values appreciate.

However, if you're just passing through or have a short-term stay in mind, buying property may not be your best bet. The high upfront costs, coupled with relatively low rental yields, make renting a more financially prudent option. Hamburg's real estate market can be challenging to navigate, with potential pitfalls like preservation laws, flood risks, and complex property contracts in German. So, if you're not committed to the city for the long run or prioritize higher rental income, exploring other investment opportunities or simply renting might be the wiser choice.

In essence, buying property in Hamburg is a promising endeavor for those seeking long-term stability and potential returns, but it's not a one-size-fits-all solution, and careful consideration of your goals and circumstances is crucial.

Make sure you understand the real estate market in Hamburg

Don't rush into buying the wrong property in Germany. Sit, relax and read our guide to avoid costly mistakes and make the best investment possible.

real estate market Hamburg

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and does not imply endorsement or advice. While we strive for accuracy, we do not guarantee the completeness or reliability of the information, including text, images, links, or other elements in this material. Following the content and analyses presented here does not assure specific outcomes. For guidance tailored to your individual circumstances, it is recommended to consult with a professional, such as a lawyer, accountant, or business advisor.