Cologne buy & rent: House, apartment, property – Square meter price

Cologne buy & rent – The media metropolis on the Rhine has over 1 million inhabitants and is one of the pivotal points in NRW and Germany. With proximity to Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and not far from Paris and Hamburg, Cologne is attractive. So attractive, in fact, that it now ranks second in the recommendations for capital investments in real estate, as you will see later in our evaluation. Here we give you the best tips for renting and buying in Cologne: building land, land, condominiums and apartment buildings. Here you will find current prices, costs for new construction, rental costs, and much more.

If you’re looking to invest in Germany’s thriving real estate market, Lukinski has you covered. From guides to German inheritance law, tax optimization, additional costs and hidden purchase fees, renovation, and the list goes on. Want to delegate the work? As German real estate experts, we can be your man on the ground:

Living on the Rhine

Cologne is known throughout Germany and the world. Thanks to its bustling cultural and historic presence, as well as its heavy activity in national and international media production creatives. On top of that it’s home to top universities and research institutes, and is well-connected via transport to all major hubs in Germany. It’s also beloved throughout Germany for its inhabitants’ easy-going and open personality, reflected in the ‘carnival’ a massive festival taking place throughout the city twice a year. Compared to other cities, Cologne has a youthful age distribution.

  • < 30 years – 33%
  • 30-60 years – 45%
  • > 60 years – 22%

All these characteristics make it an attractive destination for people from all demographics. Young people enjoy the artistic opportunities, and strong educational system through the universities, while professionals have all the perks of a big metropolis. In regards to real estate, the fact that this is a metropolis is only strongly felt in few parts of the city. Cologne boasts many residential areas with green parks and water near to the city, with neighborhoods like Lindenthal and Rodenkirchen being home to families who enjoy their single-family homes away from the hustle of the city without needing more than 10 minutes to get to the inner city. Another popular option for those working Cologne is to move to the nearby Bonn, where real estate is less expensive.

Invest or Rent in Cologne?

Cologne is a city ripe for investment. With the real estate sector growing strongly, and becoming increasingly attractive. This is a city where a real estate investment is worth it. It will likely appreciate in value, especially if it is located in one of the prime sectors like Ehrenfeld and Sülz. The decision to buy or to rent is also evident in the comparison between average price to buy an apartment compared to the price to rent it. The rent price multiplicator, an indicator of how advantageous it is to buy rather than buy, is around 30, a strong value.

  • Rent/m²: €12.5-€20.50
  • Price/m²: €5.000-€13.750

Real Estate Market Cologne Explained

The real estate market is thriving, and experts believe it to continue doing so, with a steady population growth ensuring high demand throughout the city. Prices to buy property increased in the past years, and are expected to increase steadily. For single-family homes, and multi-family houses,  prices have increased slightly, with condominiums being the biggest winners. Looking into the rental sector shows a steady and strong increase for rental prices for all types of properties, especially strong for the many new construction properties. The most expensive parts of the city for homes include Lindenthal, Rodenkirchen, and Hahnwald, while the inner city with the Old City (Altstadt) boasts many expensive apartments.

Foreign investment here is rare, and in general, the majority of real estate investments are owner-occupied. Although within Germany, Cologne is among the most attractive investment options for real estate

Apartments Price €/square meter for different regions

  • Very Good – €5.000-€13.750 (steady)
  • Good – €3.000-€7.750 (increasing)
  • Mediocre – €1.900-€4.400 (increasing)
  • Simple – €1.500-€3.200 (steady)

Purchase in Cologne

First we take a detailed look at current statistics for buyers. Here you will find a lot of information, from the purchase price for a newly built condominium to tips for renting property. We also answer the questions, is it sensible to buy a flat in Cologne without an estate agent?

  1. Facts and figures: Purchase price and stock
  2. Let the property
  3. New building: what’s being built?
  4. Buying in Cologne?
  5. Buying a flat in Cologne without an estate agent

Numbers and facts: Purchase price and stock

Here is an overview of the most important facts and figures from the Federal Statistical Office. Further statistics can be found at Statista.

The Cologne skyline at sunset:

Rheinauhafen, exclusive apartments in the best location

Purchase price

  • Offer price for a freehold flat in Cologne – 3,296 Euro / square meter
  • purchase price for a condominium in the city center of Cologne – 4.680 Euro / square meter
  • purchase price for a one- or two-family house in Cologne – 3.801 Euro / square meter
  • Property price for a newly built row house in Cologne – 465.000 Euro
    Purchase price of a building plot for private homes in Cologne – 560 Euro / square meter

Real estate portfolio

  • Number of residential buildings in Cologne – 137,773
  • Number of single-family homes in Cologne – 68,965
  • Number of apartments in Cologne – 558.000 Euro
  • Housing stock in the Cologne city centre – 81,335
  • Number of completed apartments in residential and non-residential buildings in Cologne – 3,923
  • Vacancy rate for apartments in Cologne – 1%

Let property

You can live in your own property yourself or you can rent it out. With the current housing shortage, this is a good prerequisite for increasing rental income. Because as always, supply and demand. The chart shows the share of annual building completions in 2016-2018 in the annual demand in the period 2016-2020.

  1. Hamburg and Düsseldorf Coverage / year at 86%
  2. Frankfurt am Main Coverage / year at 78%
  3. Berlin coverage / year at 73%
  4. Munich Coverage / year at 67%
  5. Stuttgart Coverage / year at 56%
  6. Cologne Coverage / year at 46%

More statistics can be found at Statista

New building: what is being built?

What else is being done in housing construction? Here you can see the structure of the construction volume according to construction sectors in Germany in 2018.

Statistics: Structure of construction volume by construction sectors in Germany in 2018 | Statista
More statistics can be found at Statista

Where is it worth buying? comparison

Where is it worth buying a property (house, semi-detached house, condominium, etc.)? In comparison, one sees the potential that lies dormant above all in NRW and Hessen. This chart shows the cost advantages of home ownership compared to rents in German metropolitan areas in 2018.

  1. Düsseldorf with 53.8%
  2. Cologne with 53.6%
  3. Frankfurt with 50.1%
  4. Stuttgart with 44.0%
  5. Leipzig with 41.8%
  6. Munich with 37.6%
  7. Hamburg with 35.0%
  8. Berlin with 26.9%

More statistics can be found at Statista

Purchase of an apartment without an agent

The chart shows the proportion of condominiums advertised by real estate agents in 2016.

2 of 3 condominiums – 63% of Cologne apartments are offered by real estate agents

Here you can clearly see that the majority of the market is in the hands of experienced real estate agents. High-quality and good properties are always sold with the help of an estate agent. After all, it is not “only” about the viewing. Buyer acquisition, network, negotiations, credit assessment, purchase contracts, all this belongs to the profession of an estate agent.

  1. 78.6% of Berlin’s condominiums through real estate agents
  2. Düsseldorf ETW at 76.0% via brokers
  3. Hamburg ETW 65.1% via brokers
  4. Cologne ETW at 63.0% via brokers
  5. Stuttgart ETW at 56.8% via brokers
  6. Munich ETW at 55.2% via brokers
  7. Frankfurt ETW at 53.3% via brokers

More statistics can be found at Statista

Cologne by night, a charming ambience

Rent

  1. Number of residential buildings
  2. Rent a commercial property
  3. Rent an office
  4. Rent office: Free areas and practices

Number of residential buildings

Number of residential buildings in Cologne in the years from 2010 to 2017.

  • 2010 – 132,812 / 2017 – 137,773
  • Increase: + 4,961 residential buildings in Cologne

Statistics: Number of residential buildings in Cologne in the years from 2010 to 2017 | Statista
More statistics can be found at Statista

Commercial property rent

Location is everything! Especially for entrepreneurs and companies, also in Cologne. In all major cities the rents for commercial properties are rising, only in Berlin the costs for the monthly rent are getting cheaper, and that in the best location. This chart shows the indexed costs for commercial real estate in the largest cities in Germany (Hamburg, Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin) in comparison. A joint index takes into account shop rents in prime locations, shop rents in secondary centres, office rents in city centres and the prices for commercial properties.

  1. Hamburg
  2. Cologne
  3. Frankfurt
  4. Munich
  5. Berlin

More statistics can be found at Statista

Rent office

Where are office rents currently highest? Cologne is at the top of the league, currently at 25.50 euros / m² on average for office rents, in comparison the neighbouring city of Düsseldorf is +3 euros higher for square metres, here you currently pay 28.50 euros / m² on average. Here you can see the top rents for office space in German cities

  1. Frankfurt – 45.50 Euro / m² (+ 23.1%)
  2. Berlin – 39.90 Euro / m² (+ 44.9%)
  3. Munich – 39.50 Euro / m² (+ 24.6%)
  4. Hamburg – 29.00 Euro / m² (+ 19.0%)
  5. Düsseldorf – 28.50 Euro / m² (+ 19.3%)
  6. Cologne – 25.50 Euro / m² (+ 20.4%)
  7. Stuttgart – 24.00 Euro / m² (+ 21.7%)

More statistics can be found at Statista

Rent office: Free areas and practices

Finding the perfect office – How does Cologne compare to other German cities? How many free spaces and practices are there in relation to Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, & Co. This chart shows the proportion of vacant office space as a proportion of total office space in selected German cities in 2018.

  1. Frankfurt am Main – 6.8% free / 93.2% rented
  2. Düsseldorf – 6.4% vacant / 93.6% rented
  3. Hamburg – 3.6% vacant / 96.4% rented
  4. Cologne – 2.8% free / 97.2% rented
  5. Stuttgart – 2.3% free / 97.7% rented
  6. Munich – 1.8% free / 98.2% rented
  7. Berlin – 1.5% free / 98.5% rented

More statistics can be found at Statista

Living, economy, city and inhabitants

  1. City map of Cologne
  2. Private households: Forecast until 2030 in NRW
  3. 2nd place of the most livable cities in Germany
  4. Cologne is family-friendly
  5. Comparison: Cologne, Berlin, Hamburg and Munich

Excellent economy with international companies, like here Microsoft

Cologne city map

Private households: forecast until 2030

How is Cologne developing as a city and in North Rhine-Westphalia as a federal state? Here you can see the number of private households in Germany by federal state in 2018 and forecast for 2030 (in 1,000). This is an optimal situation for landlords as the demand for living space increases.


More statistics can be found at Statista

Place 2 of the most livable cities in Germany

Do you consider your city worth living in? Cologne is in second place with 89%. This means that 9 out of 10 people in Cologne also appreciate the qualities of the city.

  1. Stuttgart – 89% think the city is worth living in! 9 out of 10 people live in Stuttgart
  2. Cologne – 89%
  3. Hamburg – 88%
  4. Dusseldorf – 87%
  5. Bremen – 86%
  6. Munich – 84%
  7. Berlin – 83%
  8. Essen – 80%
  9. Frankfurt – 79%
  10. Dortmund – 76%

Statistics: Do you consider your city worth living in? | Statista
More statistics can be found at Statista

Cologne is family-friendly

Do you consider your city to be family-friendly?

  1. Stuttgart – 65%
  2. Dortmund – 63%
  3. Bremen – 61%
  4. Hamburg – 60%
  5. Cologne – 60%
  6. Dusseldorf – 57%
  7. Munich – 56%
  8. Frankfurt – 51%
  9. Berlin – 48%
  10. Essen- 41%

Statistics: Do you think your city is family-friendly? | Statista
More statistics can be found at Statista

Comparison: Cologne, Berlin, Hamburg and Munich

Where do most of the inhabitants live? Here you see visualized, the 4 biggest cities in Germany. The graph shows the number of inhabitants in the German megacities on 31 December 2018, at the turn of the year 2018 / 2019.

  • Berlin – 3,644,826 inhabitants
  • Hamburg – 1,841,179 inhabitants (- 1,625,647 cf. Berlin)
  • Munich – 1,471,508 inhabitants (- 2,173,318 see Berlin)
  • Cologne – 1,085,664 inhabitants (- 2,559,162 cf. Berlin)

Statistics: Number of inhabitants in German megacities on 31 December 2018 | Statista
More statistics can be found at Statista

Buy in Germany

Tip! Read more about Buy an apartment: The 10 most expensive German cities.

  1. Ranking: Square meter prices for condominiums
  2. House price index: Development of house prices
  3. Development of construction investments in Germany
  4. Ownership ratio in Germany

Ranking: Square meter prices for condominiums

Cities with the highest prices per square meter for condominiums in 2015 and 2019 (in euros per square meter).

  1. Munich – 8,993 Euro / square meter
  2. Frankfurt am Main – 6,701 Euro / square meter
  3. Stuttgart – 6,324 Euro / square meter
  4. Potsdam – 6.1.64 Euro / square meter
  5. Berlin – 5.578 Euro / square meter
  6. Hamburg – 5,507 Euro / square meter
  7. Düsseldorf – 5,470 Euro / square meter
  8. Erlangen – 5.416 Euro / square meter
  9. Regensburg – 5.411 Euro / square meter
  10. Freiburg im Breisgau – 5,349 Euro / square meter

Statistics: Cities with the highest prices per square meter for condominiums in 2015 and 2019* (in Euro per square meter) | Statista
More statistics can be found at Statista

House price index: development of house prices

Development of house prices in Germany in the years from 2000 to 2018 (2015 = Index 100).

Statistics: Development of house prices in Germany in the years from 2000 to 2018 (2015 = Index 100) | Statista
More statistics can be found at Statista

Development of construction investments in Germany

Development of construction investments in Germany in the years 2000 to 2016 (compared to previous year).

Statistics: Development of construction investments in Germany in the years 2000 to 2016 (compared to previous year) | Statista
More statistics can be found at Statista

Ownership ratio in Germany

Ownership rate in Germany in the period from 1998 to 2018 by Länder

199820022006201020142018
Baden-Württemberg48.3%49.3%49.1%52.8%51.3%52.6%
Bavaria47.6%48.9%46.4%51%50.6%51.4%
Berlin11%12.7%14.1%14.9%14.2%17.4%
Brandenburg35.5%39.8%39.6%46.2%46.4%47.8%
Bremen37.5%35.1%35.4%37.2%38.8%37.8%
Germany total40.9%42.6%41.6%45.7%45.5%46.5%
Hamburg20.3%21.9%20.2%22.6%22.6%23.9%
Hessen43.3%44.7%44.3%47.3%46.7%47.5%
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern32.2%35.9%33.2%37%38.9%41.1%
Lower Saxony48.9%51%49%54.5%54.7%54.2%
North Rhine-Westphalia37.4%39%38.7%43%42.8%43.7%
Rhineland-Palatinate55%55.7%54.3%58%57.6%58%
Saarland58.1%56.9%54.9%63.7%62.6%64.7%
Saxons28.7%31%29.5%33.7%34.1%34.6%
Saxony-Anhalt36.5%39.6%37.9%42.7%42.4%45.1%
Schleswig-Holstein46.8%49.4%47.1%49.7%51.5%53.3%
Thuringia39.2%41.8%40.6%45.5%43.8%45.3%

All further information on statistics can be found at Statista

New buildings, modern architecture and old churches in the cityscape. A unique European combination in Cologne.

Rentals in Germany

Tip! Read more about Rent an apartment: The 10 most expensive German cities.

  1. Development of the rental price index
  2. Ranking: Rents for apartments
  3. Number of newly constructed residential buildings

Development of the rental price index

Development of the rent price index for Germany in the years from 1995 to 2019 (2015 = Index 100)

Statistics: Development of the rental price index for Germany in the years from 1995 to 2019 (2015 = Index 100) | Statista
More statistics can be found at Statista

Ranking: Rents for apartments

Cities with the highest rental prices for apartments in Germany in the 4th quarter of 2019(in euros per square metre)

Statistics: Cities with the highest rents for apartments in Germany in the 4th quarter of 2019 (in Euro per square meter) | Statista
More statistics can be found at Statista

Number of newly constructed residential buildings

New construction: Where are new apartments being built? Number of newly constructed residential buildings in Germany by federal state in 2017 and 2018 (in 1,000).

"Statistics: