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Poll: German Cities Among Europe's Top Real Estate Locations

Realtors are apparently turning to Germany's biggest cities as Europe's top 10 places for investment. Another city with one of Europe's hottest real estate markets is meanwhile falling behind.

Frankfurt's skyline at dusk

Frankfurt's commercial real estate is especially attractive to investors

For the first time in years, Berlin, Munich, Hamburg and Frankfurt have all made it to the top of Europe -- at least as far as real estate is concerned.

That's the finding of a new survey, released on Wednesday, March 12, of some 490 international real estate investors. The survey was conducted by consulting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the Urban Land Institute, a non-profit organization representing land use and real estate developers.

Attractive, but risky

While Hamburg and Munich have long been seen as sound places for investment and ranked third and fourth in this year's survey, the German political and financial capitals made a large jump from 25th and 27th place respectively to land at No. 7 and No. 9.

View of newly built apartment buildings in Hamburg's Harbor City

Hamburg's Harbor City is adding a whole new neighborhood to the city

Frankfurt is especially attractive as far as commercial real estate is concerned; Berlin's more interesting when it comes to apartments. While 45 percent of survey participants advised people to buy in both cities, they also cautioned that the risks involved were much higher than in already sound markets such as Munich and Hamburg.

Leaving London

London's city hall and Tower bridge in front of a gray sky

London's outlook's not so bright these days

London, meanwhile, has taken a dive. The British capital, where parking garages recently sold for the price of a decent-sized villa in other parts of Europe, has dropped from second place to No. 15 in a year.

"The real estate market in Great Britain is strongly dependent on foreign capital and therefore suffers enormously from the US real estate crisis," Helmut Trappmann, one of the study's authors, said in a press statement. "Germany meanwhile scores as a result of manageable risks and a continuing friendly business climate."

Heading East

A view of Dubai's Sheikh Zayed road with skyskrapers

Things are really booming in places like Dubai

But overall, investments in Europe will continue to fall. While some 242 billion euros ($372 billion) were directly spent on the continent's real estate in 2006, the amount probably dropped to 220 billion euros in 2007, according to the survey.

Investors are also increasingly shifting their portfolios from Europe to Asia, the study said.

Europe 's Real Estate Top 10

1. Moscow (19th in 2007)

2. Istanbul (11)

3. Hamburg (9)

4. Munich (4)

5. Paris (1)

6. Lyon (5)

7. Frankfurt (27)

8. Stockholm (3)

9. Berlin (25)

10. Helsinki (6)



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