How to buy a property in Germany: the market situation and the transaction process

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Как купить недвижимость в Германии: ситуация на рынке и процесс проведения сделки

Anyone can buy a house in Germany. Local residents will have an advantage only in the case of a mortgage, since foreigners need to make a much larger deposit. In this article, we will tell you how much apartments in German cities cost, how they can be bought and what related expenses to expect. 

Briefly about the situation on the German real estate market

From the end of 2022 to the end of 2023, we observed a drop in prices in the German real estate market. This was especially pronounced in large cities, where prices had been rising for many years before. The reason for the drop was a massive increase in interest rates in the market. 

The European Central Bank has raised the key interest rate several times since the summer of 2022 — this caused an increase in the cost of lending and led to a decrease in demand for real estate, and then a decrease in prices for objects, as well as an increase in the number of offers.

As of the beginning of 2024, the German real estate market is experiencing a situation of stabilization and price correction. Many German market experts agree that such a trend will be observed throughout 2024 and up to 2025 (it is important to take into account that the correction can take place both upward and downward, depending on the influence of many factors). In turn, a gradual increase in prices is expected in the long term.

Therefore, despite the current decline, real estate in Germany is still considered a safe investment — this applies primarily to large cities. 

And now about the prices.

Prices for apartments in the largest cities of Germany

Housing prices in major German cities (according to the platform ): 


Minimum price, Eur/sq.m*

Average price, Eur/sq.m

Maximum price, Eur/sq.m*

















Frankfurt am Main
























* The minimum and maximum boundaries are presented approximately, since the cost of one square meter of housing strongly depends on the location, condition, age and area of the apartment you need.

Как купить недвижимость в Германии: ситуация на рынке и процесс проведения сделки

Step-by-step procedure for buying real estate in Germany

The main condition for making real estate transactions on the German market is to confirm the legal origin of the funds used to purchase the object. 

To purchase residential or commercial real estate in Germany, a potential buyer should present the following documents:

  • A copy of the identity document (for individuals), or an extract from the commercial register (for legal entities).
  • A certificate from the bank on the account status confirming the availability of sufficient funds and the seriousness of intentions to purchase the selected property. This certificate is required at the stage of reserving an object.

The process of buying German real estate is as follows:

1. Real estate search

Competition in the German real estate market is very high and the choice of properties is small. Therefore, be patient and plan enough time to find the object you need. 

2. Checking the facility and booking it

Before buying, you should familiarize yourself with the land register (Grundbuch) — there you can see who owned the property you have chosen before and now owns it, whether there are any encumbrances on it, etc. It does not hurt to also familiarize yourself with the following documents: housing charter, minutes of owners’ meetings, economic plan and calculation of utilities.

After a thorough check, book the property by making an offer to the seller about the purchase.

3. Opening a bank account

You can pay for the transaction from either a German or any other foreign account*.

* At the moment, it is difficult for Russians and Belarusians to buy real estate in Europe, especially in Germany. However, this is possible if the following conditions are met:

  • If the buyer does not have a residence permit in Europe, but has a European bank account with sufficient funds to purchase real estate and pay for related expenses, he can purchase housing or a commercial facility in Germany. At the same time, he has the right to freely dispose of money in the account, if his accounts are not frozen due to sanctions.
  • If you have an indefinite residence permit in the EU, the buyer can transfer unlimited amounts, borrow from German banks, invest in stocks and perform any other operations on an equal basis with citizens of this country.
  • If an account is opened in a non-EU country (Turkey, Georgia, etc.), German banks are likely to refuse to open it due to difficulties in verifying the origin of funds. However, if Russians and Belarusians have transparent sources of income, the probability of opening an account in a German bank is about 50%.

For the citizens of Ukraine, the problem is the withdrawal of money from local banks.

4. Conclusion of the transaction

To conclude all contracts, you must contact a notary. Immediately after signing the contract of sale, the notary sends an application for pre-registration of the buyer as the new owner to the land court (Grundbuchamt).

5. Payment

In Germany, there are two popular payment methods: payment directly to the seller or through a notary’s trust account. In the second case, the notary creates a special escrow account that is linked to a specific transaction. After the buyer transfers the entire amount there, the notary redirects them to the seller. 

In all payment options, the seller receives money only after the notary confirms that all the necessary conditions for the purchase have been fulfilled. These conditions include pre-registration of ownership rights in favor of the buyer; obtaining a certificate from the bank for permission to remove encumbrances (if any); as well as obtaining permission from the manager of the house for sale and purchase.

6. Registration of a new owner

After receiving the full amount, the notary sends an application to the land court for final registration and simultaneous withdrawal of the preliminary one.

All data is stored in the electronic cadastre (land registry). The owner has the right to request an extract from the cadastre at any time.

The transaction process usually takes two to four months.

Как купить недвижимость в Германии: ситуация на рынке и процесс проведения сделки

Additional expenses 

Additional fees are a significant expense item when buying real estate in Germany. They can beabout 10% (and even more) of the purchase price of the property. Let’s list these related expenses.

Property transfer Tax (Grunderwerbssteuer) 

This tax usually ranges from 3.5% to 6.5% of the purchase price. The exact rate will vary depending on which region you purchase the property in. In Berlin, for example, the rate is 6%, and in Munich — 3.5%. 

Notary services and property registration 

The approximate cost of notary fees and registration of property in the land registry is 1.5—2% of the purchase price of the property. 

Real Estate Agent’s fee (Maklerprovision) 

Buyers of real estate in Germany can pay no more than 50% of the fee intended for the agent. This rule has been in force in the country since December 2020, when a new law came into force. 

The amount of the real estate agent’s fee in Germany is not clearly spelled out, but there is an unspoken rule in the local market that the maximum amount should be 7.14%. This means that you, as a buyer, will need to pay no more than 3.57%. 

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Mortgage registration

Foreigners can take out a mortgage to buy a house in Germany, but they will need to make a larger deposit than residents. It is advisable to have 20-30% of the value of the property as equity. 

Mortgage registration in the country takes about a month, and loans are usually issued for an average of 20 years.

The mortgage interest rate in Germany is now 3.5%.


Как купить недвижимость в Германии: ситуация на рынке и процесс проведения сделки

Yulia Yanukovych Editor-in-Chief

I am responsible for the work of the editorial office. I write expert interviews and guides.


Как купить недвижимость в Германии: ситуация на рынке и процесс проведения сделки

Roman Tomashevich Analyst

I show the situation on the real estate market in graphs and figures.


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