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Less in, more out – Rent or Buy?

For those who can afford it, now is the time to buy instead of losing more and more money on rent. Because Berlin is at a turning point: shifting from a buyer’s market back to a seller’s market. Currently, prices are relatively equal. For 1,100 to 1,500 euros cold rent per month, savvy buyers can get a condominium between 60 and 85 square meters.

But these favorable times won’t last. And how much you benefit from switching to ownership depends on how we approach it together. Home starts here.


  • In 2023, rental prices in Berlin increased by 18 % – Reason: Apartment scarcity.
  • In contrast, purchase prices decreased by 4 % – Reason: High interest rates.
  • Rental prices will continue to rise; purchase prices will increase again in the future.
  • Repaying a loan is at the level of a comparable cold rent.
  • With the right strategy, buying is cheaper in the long term than renting – and safer.

A market of high rents – and they won’t fall

Berlin is not an isolated case: In many German major cities, there is a shortage of housing. Due to constant influx, rental prices continue to rise. In 2023, they even surged by over 18 % for new rentals – most prominently in Neukölln and Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. Currently, the median rent per square meter is € 13.60 per month – if one can even secure a place. In most cases, this is nearly impossible without special connections.

Political countermeasures remain largely ineffective. This is because construction costs have also risen due to inflation. The Berlin rent cap? Overturned by the Federal Constitutional Court in 2021. And the nationwide rent control? Doesn’t apply to new constructions. Although it was extended until 2029, afterward, the social democratic flagship project will likely expire, possibly with a not improbable change in government in 2025.

Pinnacle values in the city – rising prices at the gates

The most significant rental increases of the last year have been seen in the upper price segment – with peak values in Mitte (€ 22.84/m²) and Pankow (€ 21.42/m²). As living in the capital becomes increasingly expensive, more and more people are moving to the surrounding areas. Consequently, prices there are also rising – precisely because of this trend. In the outskirts of Berlin, cold rents now range between € 10 and € 15 per square meter. It’s not going to decrease, even with good intentions:

While the federal government plans to build 400,000 new apartments per year, even if that were realistic (meaning Berlin would statistically receive 20,000 of those), it wouldn’t be enough. In 2022, the capital saw an influx of around 78,000 people. At the same time, only about 17,000 new apartments were realized. This deficit is driving prices up. Does the same apply to the sales market?

Inexpensive purchase prices: a turnaround in the shift

While property prices have been relatively steadily increasing over the past 20 years, since mid-2022, they have begun to decline again – unlike rents. In 2023, Berlin condominiums became about 4 % cheaper.

This is due to rising interest rates, which make financing less attractive. However, with inflation weakening, the ECB’s interest rates are expected to decrease again. This trend is becoming apparent. Mortgage rates are already falling again: Since the end of 2023, loans have become 1 % cheaper.

Those who buy now, before prices rise again, can benefit from these opposing trends. In comparison to renting, they do so anyway. Because the monthly payment for financing an apartment remains the same with the usual annuity loan – at least until the end of the fixed interest period. In contrast, rent is almost certain to increase.

Continuing to pay or paying off: two comparative calculations

Choosing ownership when moving makes life significantly easier: In 2023, there were on average 60 times as many inquiries for a rental apartment as for a purchase offer. This comparison starkly highlights the housing situation. But the differences also have financial implications – especially in the long run.

Currently, buyers pay similar prices for their loans under usual conditions as they would for continuing to rent. Over the years, they then save more and more. We have calculated this based on two scenarios of owner occupancy: for a couple and a family.

For the examples, we use the following average data:

  • Annuity loan under usual conditions (as of 05/2024)
  • Fixed interest rate of 15 years at 3.2 % p.a.
  • Repayment rate of 2 %.
  • Term of 30 years.
  • Comparison: A very moderate rental increase of 1.5 % p.a.


 apartment A – 60 sqm  aparment B – 85 sqm
 purchase price  € 280.000   € 400.000 
 acquisition costs  € 32.000   € 46.000 
 equity ratio  20 %  25 %
 loan amount  € 250.000  € 335.000 
 monthly installment  € 1.080   € 1.450 
 comparable rent 
 in 10 years
 € 1.242   € 1.667 
comparable rent
 in 30 years
 € 1.566   € 2.102 

The more you put in, the faster you get more out

Of course, the conditions always depend on one’s own capabilities and individual strategies. With an equity ratio of 30 % and a repayment of 8 % (€ 2,000/month), the smaller apartment would already be paid off after 10 years (assuming 3 % interest and a shorter term). And from that point on, you start saving!

The realism of the housing prices depicted here is illustrated by the example of an apartment recently sold by David Borck Immobilien:

  • NEIGHBORHOOD: Charlottenburg
  • SIZE: 67 m²
  • PURCHASE PRICE: € 300,000 

Although this renovated apartment was rented out, it had no restriction period – thus immediately terminable for own use. The new owners could move in right away. They made all the right moves.

What a purchase requires – and entails

Buying is indeed a bit more complex than renting. Interested individuals should bring some equity. It’s common to have 20 to 30 percent. Additionally, there are about 10 percent acquisition costs (commission, notary fees, real estate transfer tax, etc.). However, if agents sell the property without an external commission, it can be 3.75 % cheaper. This is happening more frequently now – especially with us.

Another advantage: Occupied properties are offered at lower prices. Usually, there are occupancy restrictions for termination. Even if these last the full 10 years, as in the least likely scenario, the rental income usually covers the monthly loan payments quite well. Although one may have to wait for occupancy, they don’t lose money.

More value, more security: Those who buy wisely, win

In contrast to many other countries, the proportion of rental apartments in Germany is alarmingly high. People put themselves in lifelong dependence instead of taking action for themselves. Those who rethink and switch gain more for their money – especially in Berlin:

  • Easy relocation: Finding the right apartment becomes much easier.
  • Secure living: No one can terminate your lease due to own use.
  • Avoid cost increases: Monthly payments are constant – rent is not.
  • Paying yourself: Every euro goes into ownership, not into others’ pockets.
  • Multiply money: Due to long-term positive price development, the value of the property increases.
  • Increase retirement income: Whether for own use or rental income – you secure prosperity in old age.

Easier to property ownership – with the real estate professionals

Nothing is as sensitive as acquiring property. There’s a lot that can go wrong, but even more that can go right – with partners who know their stuff. We at David Borck Immobilien are here for you – and strong for you. Our experts find what suits you. At prices that suit you. We advise and accompany with personality, advocate for the best prices personally, take care of official matters and individual concerns. Please feel at home with us. Because we work for your new life in Berlin.



David Borck Immobiliengesellschaft

Schlüterstraße 45 | 10707 Berlin |
Phone +49 (0)30 887 742 50 | Fax +49 (0)30 887 742 525