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German Property Crisis Worsens as Foreign Investment Declines

High interest rates and economic uncertainty deter overseas investors
High interest rates and economic uncertainty are driving foreign investors away from German real estate. In the first quarter of this year, foreign buyers accounted for only 35% of commercial property purchases, the lowest since 2013, according to BNP Paribas Real Estate. This follows a 37% share in 2023.

The drop in investment is due to factors such as high inflation and fears of a recession. Although Germany's GDP rose by 0.2% in the first quarter, structural issues are expected to hinder future growth.

The economy contracted by 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2023, making Germany the worst-performing major economy globally last year. Challenges include an aging population, lack of public investment, bureaucratic hurdles, and sluggish productivity.

Previously, Germany attracted investors with low unemployment rates, economic stability, and low interest rates. However, recent troubles are partly due to not fully capitalizing on technological advancements and a shift towards low-productivity sectors.

Germany's decentralized economic structure, with multiple strong cities like Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt, and Cologne, also deters centralized investment. The construction sector faces high costs and low demand, with over half of residential construction companies reporting a lack of orders in April, according to the IFO institute.",
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