Mega city without mega prices

Berlin has so far avoided a cripplingly expensive housing market, but things could be changing

The World Today
Published 6 February 2015 Updated 5 January 2021 2 minute READ

Stephanie Pieper

UK correspondent, ARD German Radio

Compared with London, Berlin is a cheap city in which to live. Indeed, very cheap. Believe me: I lived in Berlin for more than 20 years, moved to London only a couple of months ago – and still can’t believe how expensive it is over here.

Londoners who study the property ads for flats to buy or rent in Berlin will have tears in their eyes. That is why many start-ups and artists choose the German capital to escape the high cost of living in London, Paris, Oslo or elsewhere.

In Berlin, my three-bedroom apartment (1,700 square feet), period building, wooden floors, five minutes by bike to the Reichstag cost less than €1,000 (£750). Oh, and that is not per week but per month. Germans on average spend less than 30 per cent of their net monthly income on rent. Most people in Germany actually live in a rented property since only 43 per cent own a house or an apartment.

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