News + Insight

All eyes on Friedrichshain

5 May 2017

The dynamic district in Berlin’s east with a promising future for investors

Germany’s capital and largest city, Berlin was named the Top Market for Real Estate Investment and Development in 2017 and 2016, according to research by PwC and the Urban Land Institute. It ranked highest on investment, development and prospects for rental growth and capital growth, offering impressive potential for investors. With population growth of 400,000 expected by 2030, it’s a popular place for property investors to keep an eye on. And of all the districts, Friedrichshain is certainly one worth more than a glance.

Formerly part of East Berlin, Friedrichshain was once an industrial, working class, freestanding borough. Badly bombed during World War II, when the Berlin wall fell in 1989 it became something of a young and dynamic district, attracting students and artists due, in part, to low rents. Yet for decades it had a certain stigma attached to it.

Volkspark Friedrichshain

Now gentrification is underway with restoration happening across the district, and arts, culture, fashion and technology industries thriving throughout; not to mention the lush, green oasis that is Volkspark Friedrichshain, the district’s large park, which offers easy access to nature for its residents. The riverside of the Spree also has its own charm.

The district is well located slightly to the east of Berlin, yet adjacent to the city’s foremost borough, Mitte, the centre of the German capital and its historic heart. With good connections, Friedrichshain’s Samariter Strasse U Bahn station will have commuters in Alexanderplatz, Berlin’s Central Business District, within 12 minutes.

Friedrichshain itself remains a hub for history and culture. It is home to East Side Gallery, the largest preserved part of the Berlin Wall and the largest and longest established open air gallery in the world. This remains one of Berlin’s most prominent landmarks and an international memorial for freedom, reflecting the district’s values of independence and innovation that remain prevalent today.

Creativity reigns in Friedrichshain, not least because students and artists were some of the first to inhabit the area following the fall of the Berlin Wall, but street art is in abundance, alongside intriguing post-war architecture and contemporary artworks. This includes American artist Jonathan Borofsky’s Molecule Man on the Spree River, found in front of Treptowers, a complex of buildings that is the result of a 1993 architectural competition and which houses, among other things, a permanent exhibition of 500 works by contemporary artists.

Trendy boutiques and bars add to the area’s youthful lifestyle. Boxhagener Platz, which is often known simply as ‘Boxi’ is a patch of connected streets filled with cool cafes, artisanal stores and eateries serving a range of global cuisines. A popular flea market takes place every Sunday while a farmers’ market delivers seasonal produce and fresh flowers to residents on Saturdays. Kino Intimes, a small cinema that is over 100 years old, screens art-house movies and foreign language films. People don’t just come for entertainment and leisure either – there are a large number of co-working spaces in the area that serve as a base for start-up companies. In fact, in Berlin, a new start-up is founded every 20 hours.


For more established companies, Friedrichshain also holds appeal. Mediaspree, located on the riverside, is a property development that is the base for MTV Europe, Zalando, Allianz, Coca Cola and Universal Music. The Mercedes Benz Arena can also be found here, a 17,000-capacity venue hosting numerous concerts and sporting events and attracting over 1.3 million visitors every year.

With so much going for it, people are taking note of Friedrichshain and it is proving increasingly popular with buyers and renters alike as prices play something of a game of catch up. From the days when prices were very low due to the stigma of East Berlin, which remained up to as recently as five years ago, Friedrichshain last year recorded the fastest growing rental growth in Berlin at 11%. The stigma has clearly lifted.


Rental growth is a key indicator of future capital appreciation and prices are already on the rise in Friedrichshain. Over the past three years, the district has experienced strong capital growth of 12.3% in 2014, 12.8% in 2015 and 11.7% in 2016. 

Price growth shows no signs of slowing down as people flock to a district that remains relatively affordable (the price per square metre for an apartment close to Samariter Strasse U Bahn station is EUR3,712 compared to EUR4,452 close to Alexanderplatz U Bahn station) and offers so much in terms of culture, history, entertainment and leisure, as well as a burgeoning start-up scene. With 7.3% population growth in Friedrichshain predicted to 2030, in line with the Berlin average, now is the time to get involved and get invested.

To read more about Berlin’s investment credentials, read our latest Market Update, or speak to a consultant about our latest investment opportunity in vibrant Friedrichshain.

IP Global

Written by IP Global

IP Global’s full-service approach is built on extensive market research and analysis combined with a significant financial commitment to every investment we offer. We are able to manage the entire investment process end-to-end, from sourcing, financing, and management to those all important exit strategies, making investment in real estate as straightforward as investing in more traditional asset classes. Our expertise, experience and strong record have produced over USD2.8 billion in international real estate investments in over 30 markets worldwide.

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