Business & Economy

PROPERTY: Germans adding storeys to buildings to create living space

03 August, 2017

There is growing popularity in Germany of adding stories to existing buildings as a quick and affordable way to create new living space and attractive penthouse condominium units, according to the Immobilien Zeitung.

Planning applications for this type of development have surged – the Federal Office of Statistics revealed that 52,300 permits to create new apartments via loft conversions and roof extensions were issued in 2016. This is one sixth of all apartment approvals for the year (375,000) and is the highest figure since 1998.
In addressing the shortage of available land in Germany’s major cities, Patrick Herzog-Smethurst of DKW Group said that his company always assesses the potential of urban in-fill, densification and upward extension when weighing up acquisitions.
He explained that the most common densification strategies in Berlin involve adding storeys to existing buildings or extending off-street buildings.
Adding storeys is often the preferred option. Many in the industry, including residential portfolio and fund managers, view it as less expensive and time-consuming.
Wertgrund has long converted or extended individual properties to add living space, “but now, as property prices keep on rising, it has become an increasingly attractive proposition across the board”, said Timo Holland from Wertgrund.
In Ingolstadt, Wertgrund has created 24 units, adding storeys to its existing buildings, and is now reviewing its entire residential portfolio to identify further potential.
In Berlin and Wedel, near Hamburg, Wertgrund plans to create 35 units in this way, with construction costs of between EUR 2,400 and 2,500/sq.m., and rental prices of EUR 11.50 to 12.00/sq.m.
Wertgrund has thus far employed conventional construction techniques, but is now exploring serial construction with wood as an alternative. Wood is an ideal construction material, both in terms of structural engineering and speed of construction. Deutsche Invest Immobilien (d.i.i.) created 70 new apartments at three properties in Essen and Hamburg, and is planning more in Düsseldorf, Wedel and Hamburg-Fischbek. (Source: German Real Estate News)