There is a new buzz in the Berlin air. The grim, wounded city once cast adrift in the ocean of Communist Germany has now turned into a thriving global capital that draws investors, companies and a talented workforce from across the world.
“Economically, Berlin has finally started picking up, wages have increased significantly over the last year and unemployment is at a record low,” says Sebastian Fischer, managing director of realtors Engel & Völkers. “Furthermore, the city’s growing—there’s a forecast regarding population growth made by the city to 2025 and we are already above the most bullish scenario.”
A key reason the German capital is booming is that it offers great value to businesses.
The city has invested heavily in infrastructure and, today, “the general surroundings for a company wanting to settle somewhere in Europe are extremely good,” according to Fischer. “You can drive from one side of the city to the other in 30 minutes, the public transport is excellent and the healthcare is very good.”
But Berlin’s greatest advantage is perhaps its vibrant atmosphere. A Savills study ranked the German capital first among the world’s tech hubs for buzz and wellness, a liveability measure that covers everything from nightlife and entertainment to pollution levels, quality of the local parks and commuting times.
The city’s dynamic, entrepreneurial culture, its ten universities, the thriving tech, music and art industries, and a firm cosmopolitan feel are so appealing that the local population has continuously swelled for the past five years, with up to 40,000-50,000 people moving in every year.
Germany’s political stability and rock-solid economy have also played a part in drawing foreign businesses and supporting Berlin’s economy. “The biggest beneficiary from the Eurozone and its low interest rates is Germany,” says Blum. “It is a big export country and is happy when the euro is not too high. For companies, last year has been amazing. Germany is also extremely stable and we see a lot of people who want to invest here just for that—it’s not only the yield attraction, it’s the security of the country.”