BERLIN – HISTORICALLY GROWN DIVERSITY

Berlin is a city of many faces. The vibrant metropolis attracts people from everywhere in Germany, Europe and the whole wide world. A high number of young entrepreneurs make Berlin the start-up capital of Germany, and have helped to generate an economic growth that outperforms the national average – with nearly 40,000 new businesses set up in 2015 alone. Among the city's other attractions for bright minds are its outstanding universities as well as its international art and media scene. In addition to these innovative developments, Berlin presents itself as steeped in history and well-aware of its traditions. Countless museums and memorials, architectural highlights across the centuries and dedicated cultural endowments keep the city's history alive, from the Royal Prussian palaces, to the divided city and its reunification, all the way to the ongoing phase of merging into a single city again and becoming the nation's old-new capital.

Then, there is the city's cultural diversity. Take time-honoured opera houses and creative new playhouses, repertory cinemas and performance art, avant-garde or classical music – Berlin's stages, concert halls and movie theatres have something for everyone. In the summertime, festivals and parades fill the streets with music and revellers, while Christmas markets of various types are a favourite pastime in the cold time of year.

Its many facets endow Berlin with an eclectic character where everybody finds his or her place. It is a metropolis of extraordinary livability. At the same time, the city is dotted with parks large and small, from Brixpark with has the size of a town square to the sprawling woodlands of Tiergarten and the vast expanse of Tempelhofer Feld, a former airfield. It certainly enhances the city's air quality and the micro climate. And if you crave the proper outdoors, you will find lakes and woods both inside the city limits and beyond that are perfect for any spare-time pursuit, be it of the recreational or the athletic kind.

With all of these perks in mind, it comes as no surprise that Berlin has been growing steadily for years. By the end of 2015, its population stood at 3.6 million, a year-on-year increase by 50,000 residents. The demographic growth is matched by a corresponding demand for housing. Construction activities have been unable to keep up with the increasing demand in recent years, with both housing rents and prices showing a steady upward trend. In fact, the price and rent level of Berlin's residential property market is closing in on the level of comparable metropolises now, after years of having been undervalued For the first time, the average selling price for condominiums crossed the mark of 200,000 euros in Berlin. But at 214,346 euros, it continues to rank mid-field among major German cities, and remains almost 40 percent below the price level of the other four of the Big Five real estate markets, these being Munich, Hamburg, Cologne, and Frankfurt am Main. It stands to reason that Berlin's housing market harbours enormous potential yet.