December 19, 2016, 5:00 am

Micro-apartments: the hottest new trend sweeping the German real estate market

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Properties

 

Three takeaways:

  • Students, commuters and soaring numbers of singles ensure that insatiable demand for micro-apartments is here to stay
  • Tenants love the low rent, high quality and customizability of micro-apartments
  • With 100% occupancy rates practically guaranteed, micro-apartments are an attractive option for risk-averse investors

 

Micro-apartment fever has taken Germany by storm.

 

As the name implies, micro-apartments are small flats – typically between 20 and 30 sq. m each – that contain only the bare essentials, i.e. a sleeping space, a bathroom with a shower and a kitchenette. Most micro-apartment buildings contain self-storage units, laundry facilities and communal lounge areas to accommodate for the lack of space in each flat.

Despite their Spartan conditions, micro-apartments have proven incredibly popular among a certain demographic in Germany – so much so that developers are scrambling to expand the market.

German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported there are presently about 25,000 micro-apartments in the country, and several thousands more are set to be built by the end of 2018. The projects will receive state support: the federal government plans to invest €120M in the micro-apartment market expansion.

 

Where is the demand for micro-apartments coming from?

The German micro-apartment market targets over 30 million people, including students, singles and tenants whose primary places of residence are far from the big cities they work in.

In recent years, one-bedroom flats have proliferated; between 2011 and 2014, their growth rate was double that of the country’s total apartment growth rate.

The increased popularity of small residential properties is likely attributable to a notable uptick in one-person households over the past several decades.

In 1961, flats occupied by one tenant accounted for 21% of all German households; by 2012, that figure had nearly doubled, reaching 41%. This trend is attributable to a declining birthrate, decreased marriage rates and a general increase in the popularity of living alone.

Though micro-apartments traditionally targeted students and commuters who only live in the city on weeknights, their target demographic has expanded to include singles of all age groups who wish to reduce their monthly rental costs.

Due to their minuscule size, micro-apartments in large German cities rent for an average of €400 per month. For comparison, according to cost of living database Numbeo, a one-bedroom apartment in the center of Berlin typically rents for nearly €700 a month, and the same in Munich typically goes for nearly €1,000.

Because of their relative affordability, micro-apartments are very popular among prospective tenants from all walks of life.

They are particularly appealing among tenants looking to rent on a short- to medium-term basis.

In Germany, tenants traditionally face considerable obstacles when trying to rent for anything less than the long term – such as the obligation to pay a security deposit equal to three months’ rent and heightened credit history scrutiny. To the contrary, micro-apartments tend to cater to short- to medium-term renters.

They also boast a plethora of comforts that are tougher to find in standard apartments. Most are newly built and fully furnished and equipped. What’s more, a range of apps now exist that enable tenants not only to choose their apartments, but to outfit them with a custom selection of dishware, home appliances and furniture – all from their mobile phones.

Micro-apartments also offer creature comforts that hotels and other types of short-term rentals lack, such as private kitchens and bathrooms.

For all of these reasons, demand for micro-apartments is high across Germany, and is only expected to soar further in the future, particularly in such cities as Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Frankfurt, whose populations are growing at rates of some 1-2% each year.

 

Why investors and developers love micro-apartments

Micro-apartments aren’t just a smash among tenants; more and more property investors and developers are flocking toward the trend.

More than 50% of Tranio.com’s clients have expressed an interest in

Micro-apartments in major Germany cities sell for as little as €100,000. As German banks offer non-residents up to 50% LTV loans at 2% p.a., foreign investors can pay just €50,000 upfront to cash in on this trend.

Financial institutions are offering such low interest rates for micro-apartments because they have observed their growing popularity and relative liquidity.

Micro-apartment owners also take comfort in relatively high turnover rates. Though rental terms vary broadly, a typical micro-apartment lease runs for a period of three to six months. This minimizes the eviction-related risks typically associated with standard apartments and long-term or perpetual rental contracts.

Furthermore, high-demand and low rental rates all but guarantee 100% occupancy, minimizing the risk that the owner will lose rental income during lengthy vacancy periods.

The short-term nature of micro-apartment lease agreements also empowers owners to increase rent in order to keep up with market demand.

Traditional landlords often face significant limitations in this regard. For instance, local regulations in Berlin prevent landlords with long-term tenants from raising rates by more than 10% above the average rental price in a given district, or in general by my more than 20% over the course of any three-year period.

And for foreign investors, as well as local investors that don’t wish to actively manage their rentals, the German market boasts numerous property management companies that can resolve all tenant-related, administrative, payment, insurance and maintenance issues. Some such companies even offer renovation services.

This option enables owners to reap all the benefits of a rental property without having to take on the grunt work traditionally associated with being a landlord.

Developers also have a great deal to gain from micro-apartments as they can sell them at higher prices per sq. m. than they can larger flats. This boils down to a basic tenet of the property market: the smaller the flat, the higher the price per square meter.

New developments tend to sell out well before they hit the market. Investors purchasing micro-apartments in 2016 will likely have to wait until 2017 or 2018 for their purchases to materialize.

In short, everyone has something to gain on the German micro-apartment market: tenants get inexpensive and quality accommodations, investors can earn solid yields with a low market entry threshold, and developers can earn excellent revenue per square meter.

By: George Kachmazov, managing partner at Tranio.com

 

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December 13, 2016, 2:46 pm

Satisfy Your Adventurous Side with a Renegade Museum Tour of the de Young

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Uncategorized

Do you crave adventure? Love storytelling and all the juicy gossip that comes with it? Then a Museum Hack tour of the de Young in San Francisco could be right up your alley. Museum Hack is a museum tour company that hosts the most untraditional and unique museum experiences in the Bay Area.

Museum Hack leads renegade museum tours in museums across the country (New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington D.C). The tours are far from traditional, as they encourage selfies, games and FUN.  They’re designed to help people who hate museums explore art in a unique way. This is the most fun you’ll have in a museum EVER.

Held in the de Young (aka “San Francisco’s Attic”), Museum Hack digs up salacious gossip about the art and artifacts and keeps you entertained with games and selfies.

Un-Highlights Tour: Because the de Young is home to so much awesome art and architecture (really, the observation tower is to die for), stuff can be overlooked or missed on a museum visit. The Un-Highlights tour is all about discovering unique stories about the art and artists in a fast-paced, group-oriented way.

Badass Bitches Tour: Unfortunately, female artists are seriously underrepresented in museums across the nation. But thanks to Museum Hack, you’ll discover the coolest lady artists and subjects with this feminist-inspired tour. Celebrate women artists with adventure, gossip and leave feeling ready to take on the patriarchy.

Beta Tours: These tours are what Museum Hack uses to test new tour guides and put interesting but new ideas into practice. The most recent Beta Tour at the de Young was a murder mystery where guests had to solve clues to find the killer!

VIP Tour: This premium museum experience for dates or group outings is complete with wine. All the Museum Hack sass is packed into this exciting museum adventure.

Highlights of a Museum Hack Tour in San Francisco

  • JUICY gossip about art that isn’t always highlighted
  • Hangout with people who are full of passion and energy, and LOVE museums
  • Selfies with the art to take home!

If you are looking for an awesome company team building activity in San Francisco, keep Museum Hack in mind! They transform their awesome museum adventures into team building masterpieces that staff actually love.  By injecting ways to promote team bonding and team spirit into their well-loved renegade museum tours, Museum Hack has created the ultimate team building experience.  You can even customize your team building experience to focus on your company values, goals, and history.

Designed for people who don’t like museums, Museum Hack’s tours are perfect for everyone! Tourist or local, art lover or not, get yourself on a Museum Hack tour ASAP if you want some serious fun!

 

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October 31, 2016, 8:40 am

Stay Protected And Profit In Uncertain Markets With XTrade

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Investment, Market and Risk

If you’ve ever been to a financial advisor you’ll know that there’s no easy way to build serious wealth through investing. It takes an enormous amount of research and there are no shortcuts. At least, that’s what your conservative financial advisor will tell you.

 

He’ll say you need to ‘save’ as much as possible and keep your money in a safe place – like the bank – even though doing these things pay you no income. Saving is great, but what if there was another way?

 

Trading pairs through online brokers such as XTrade offers you a way to invest and grow your wealth yourself.

 

Banks

Strangely enough this way of building wealth still involves banks. No, not saving in the banks, but following what they trade. Banks account for a large chunk of the forex market. If they aren’t working, then the volume of transactions being carried out is greatly reduced. Many traders on XTrade and other leading platforms can attest to seeing a null period when the banks aren’t trading. This can lead to either really static markets or on worse still, erratic markets that can send any trader into a downwards spiral. Banks tend to trade the Forex markets at least once a day for balance sheet reasons and can also trade a number of times throughout the day for speculation reasons. They need a certain amount of each currency to meet the demand of their customers, both personal and business, that will need to buy foreign currency from the bank or exchange their foreign currency for their local currency.

 

 

Keep your money safe while trading pairs

Online platforms such as XTrade should have good reviews by their traders. To ensure successful pair trading, you need to choose shares that generally move together but are showing an abnormal deviation in share prices. And to profit from this deviation, you need to get the weighting right.

 

By this, I simply mean that you want to place the same monetary amount on each trade.

This will protect you and will isolate the move you’re looking for.

 

This is just one strategy showing how you can use CFDs and single stock futures to profit in the fast paced world of trading.

 

Maintain a diversified investment interest

Consider going between trading pairs and CFD’s. By selecting a mix of trades that invests in a variety of markets, you are minimizing risk of a single big loss. Online trading platforms such as XTrade offer you a wide variety of markets to trade in – all from one single trading account.

 

Keep it together

Whilst learning to deal with the common trading psychological pitfalls such as fear and greed are very important, the real key to trading success is learning to be comfortable with uncertainty. No matter how great any trade or setup may look, a trader must learn to accept that every outcome is uncertain. Whilst a trader may have a trading edge that does not mean they will win every trade and learning to deal with the uncertainty of when the winners will come and when the losers will come is the key to profitability overall.

 

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October 28, 2016, 10:39 am

Payday vs installment loan: Knowing the difference

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Banks and You

If you’re in need of extra funds, you may consider taking out a payday or installment loan – but what’s the difference? Financial jargon can seem complicated but this article will explain in simple terms what each of these borrowing options entails and how the differ from one another.

Installment loans:

Installment loans are a great option for many, making it straightforward to borrow small or large sums of money and paying the owed amount back via regular installments over a set period of time – this is usually from six-months to a couple of years.

Installment loans for bad credit scores are particularly important, as the borrower is given an opportunity to show they can make repayments on time and stick to a pre-organised payment schedule.

The money available via this type of loan can also be used to pay back debt that’s been consolidated in one swoop rather than having to deal with multiple creditors at the same time – which is, of course, an attractive option for those being hounded by various companies.

In short, loans of this kind are a handy solution for long-term cash needs and a good option for those looking to pay money back in increments. While interest rates vary, all costs are transparent and those entering a contractual agreement know what’s expected of them in advance. There are no secrets and reputable companies will also try to keep interest rates down to ensure your finances are as healthy as possible.

Payday loans:

Like installment loans, payday loans give people access to cash when they most need it – the difference is that smaller sums are usually available and the money has to be paid back usually within a 30-day period, either via a predated cheque or automatically via Direct Debit.

Due to the convenient nature of such a loan, interest rates tend to be sky high and borrowers are recommended to ensure they can pay the full amount back in time, to avoid incurring additional fees. This type of loan is also usually unsecured, with lenders assessing the borrower’s ability to repay by viewing recent paycheques. In contrast, installment loans tend to be secured by assets such as personal property, excluding real estate.

Of course there are pros and cons to both options and all aspects of taking out a loan should be considered in full before any action is taken. Installment loans tend to be the much more obvious solution for those who require a larger sum of money with a longer repayment plan, whereas payday loans are perhaps best for those looking for an instant cash injection who are not particularly worried about high interest rates – because they know they can pay the money back in time.

There are many reasons why people apply for a loan, but if you decide to contact a lender be sure to do your homework and avoid many of the common pitfalls, such as borrowing more than you can afford.

 

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October 26, 2016, 7:51 am

3 Powerful Ways to Manage Business Debts

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Pay off your Debts

 

Managing business debts is a major obstacle for all entrepreneurs from across the globe. When you need to secure business loans, you have to guarantee that you can repay it, taking after every one of the terms applied. In fact, it is not wrong to owe somebody or a loan company cash, as long as you can settle it on time. If not, you will be in a bad position when you are not ready to do as such.

 

For the most part, maintaining a small business is frustrating and stressful. However, if you love what you do and you are concerned about your business, then you can survive anything to make it thrive. Business loans can actually make or break you. This is the reason why you need to choose deliberately what sort of loan you will apply for.

 

Good thing there are various business finance solutions available out there, which you can swing to whenever you need business finance assistance. Sites like https://www.kikka.com.au offers financial help to business owners. Banks and Non-government agencies can also assist you in setting your business. Remember to pick your fights carefully and you will get through any business troubles along the way.

 

So, here are some ways to deal with business debts effectively:

 

Cut back unnecessary expenses

Decide the sections of your business where you can reduce costs, so you will have the ability to pay your debts. There are different ways on how you can lessen costs, for example, subleasing unutilized space, auctioning off unused gear, or disposing costly telephone frameworks. With this, you can free up money to settle your business obligations and keep your company running smoothly.

 

Combine loans

Business debt consolidation is one of the speediest solution to settle your debt quickly and lessen interest rates. As opposed to paying different credits with various financing fees, you can just wire them into a solitary low-interest loan. Also, this procedure gives you a chance to simply deal with only one lender. The loan can either be secured or unsecured with business assets. In order to help you out on this matter, you can inquire to finance experts whether this will be a good fit for your business or not.

 

Revisit your financial plan

When your debts keep heaping up, then it means that your company’s present budget plan is not generally working out. Make a financial plan in light of the business’ present monetary circumstance. Ensure your business’ income can take care of your monthly costs, such as lease and service bills. At that point, designate a part of the financial plan for variable costs, like fabricating materials.

 

It is your obligation as a business owner to deal with your company’s debts. Be sure to take into consideration these useful tips mentioned above to know what to do when dealing with your own business debts. Simply keep your eye on your goals and be flexible to whatever changes that will come your way. Definitely, it won’t be that easy and simple at first, but you will understand all things and get used to it eventually.

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