Why Germany

Germany, the economic powerhouse of Europe is amongst the most favored real estate investment locations in the world

There are many factors at work in continually attracting real estate investment into the country year on year. Underpinning the attractiveness for this investment is the robust and resilient economy and the high degree of political stability. With a population in excess of 80m, its workforce is highly skilled and educated and is supported by a large number of well-educated migrants. A significant number of the world's leading companies are headquartered here including the World's most prestigious car brands such as Mercedes Benz, Porsche and BMW. Sitting in the heart of Europe, it has an extensive and well-developed infrastructure allowing highly efficient domestic connectivity as well as immediate reach into the major international markets.

The real estate market in Germany offers immediate investment opportunities suitable for all categories of investors. It is the second largest commercial property market in Europe. The profile of domestic and international investor's active in the German real estate market includes large and small, private or semi-private and funds or funds of funds. Whilst the retail and office segments occupy the lion's share of the commercial market, the country is also home to Europe's largest residential investment market. The private rented sector and multi-family units are an attractive investment route to this established market. Elsewhere, ready investment opportunities in the leisure and tourism real estate market are spurred on by the circa 30 plus million international tourists who visit Germany annually.

Any property investor, no matter where in the world, should always seek appropriately qualified tax advice before buying.

Germany offers interesting tax incentives for investors buying residential property to let.

Most input costs can be written down in either the year created or over a number of years against rental income. This can include the interest on a loan attached to the property as well as a notary, estate agent or management fees.

There is also a large incentive in the form of a depreciation write down of 2% pa over 50 years on the purchase price of the physical property (not land) for properties built after 31st December 1924. Buildings built before this date are depreciated at 2.5% pa over 40 years.

Any profit from the sale of a residential investment unit is tax-free provided the property has been held for at least ten years.

Investments in Germany are secure

Many experts predict that a price adjustment can be expected in markets around the world, as the decade-long growth cycle reaches its peak. Therefore, it makes sense to invest in the countries that are most protected from unfavorable market situations, and Germany is one of them. I see three advantages that Germany has:

• an abundance of well-educated professionals
• smooth administrative procedures, following concise regulations
• legendary hard-working nature

These factors presume that if the prices fall or there are other misfortunes, Germany will be one of the countries least affected by the events and that it will recover quicker.