Real estate investor: real estate market and investment potential Cologne

Property prices and market forecast

General Real Estate Information about Cologne

The Rhineland is growing and the major cities of the region are developing magnificently. The city of Cologne benefits from this development like no other in North Rhine-Westphalia.
The city on the Rhine is not the most beautiful of the German cities, but it offers a lot of lifestyle, which is transported above all by the warm Rhinelanders but also by the annual carnival.
In addition, the city with its well-known cathedral is an exciting economic center, media location and was named the most digital city in Germany in 2015. In the 2016 Future Atlas, it ranks 38th out of 402 counties and district-free cities in Germany and is thus considered a city with very high future prospects.
The latest figures prove this and investors should keep their eyes open in Cologne, as investment properties are becoming increasingly rare.

Residents Key Figures Cologne

The increase in Cologne’s population increased by 1.45 percent from 2015 to 2016. 1,075,935 people lived in Cologne in 2016, in 2017 there were already 1,084,795 and by 2040 demographers expect the population to rise to over 1.2 million. The city is the big winner among the cities in the Rhineland, no other is growing as strongly as Cologne.
In the 1970s, Cologne was once a city of millions for a short time due to the incorporation of the neighbouring town of Wesselings, but this was spun off again, which reduced the number of inhabitants again. In 2010, Cologne again cracked the million-dollar mark, becoming Germany’s fourth city of millions after Berlin, Hamburg and Munich. In North Rhine-Westphalia, Cologne is the only city of millions and thus also the largest city without being the state capital.
The inhabitants of the city of Cologne are spread over an area of 405.02 km2, which means 2,656 people per square kilometer. Cologne was the first city in 1852 and has grown more than tenfold since then, as the current population shows.

Infrastructure Cologne

Investor for real estate: The connection to the city of Cologne is excellent. Trade and transport have been important economic drivers in Cologne in the past, and although the city’s main economic sectors have now shifted, the infrastructure is still excellent.
Cologne is located on many important motorways such as the A1, the A3 and the A4 and is connected to other important economic centres in NRW and throughout Germany. The Benelux countries can also be reached quickly from Cologne.
Cologne, of course, also has connections to various long-distance trains, both within Germany and to other European capitals such as Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris. Overall, the volume of road and rail traffic in Cologne is one of the highest in the whole of Germany, which has a positive effect on freight transport and, of course, also leaves many opportunities for the people in the region.
Within Cologne there are buses, S-Bahn and U-Bahn trains and CologneBonn Airport is easily accessible from the city centre. Due to its location on the Rhine, Cologne is connected to one of the most important German rivers for inland navigation and freight transport, and the Port of Cologne is an important cargo handling point.

Economy & Unemployment Rate Cologne

One of the most important economic sectors in Cologne is mechanical engineering and the automotive industry. Renault Germany is based at Cologne and Ford and Toyota are even represented with plants. Other important industries are chemicals, banks and insurance companies.
In addition, the city is an important location in the media industry, RTL, WDR and many television production companies are based in Cologne. Tourism is also an integral part of Cologne. In 2017, the city recorded a total of 124 million day guests and 3.6 million hotel guests with 6.24 million overnight stays.
Retail also plays an important role in Cologne. The main shopping streets Schildergasse and Hohe Straße in the city centre are the shopping streets with the highest number of passers-by in Germany.
In addition, Cologne is an important trade fair location in Germany and is the annual host of photokina (photo fair), Anuga (trade fair for the food industry), Art Cologne (largest trade fair for modern art), imm Cologne (fair for furnishing and furniture) and Gamescom (fair for consumer electronics).

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Basic real estate data

Among the most popular residential areas in Cologne are Marienburg, Braunsfeld, Lindenthal, Bayenthal, Sülz and Neu-Ehrenfeld. The prices in these districts are high, on average in Cologne for an 80 m2 apartment in good quality (built in 2005) 9.65 euros per square meter are due. In popular neighborhoods and the center, prices are still higher and rising, albeit at a slightly slower pace in 2018 than in 2017.
The growing population, high prices and housing shortages also explain the low vacancy rate. Only 1.1 percent of properties in Cologne are empty.

Buildings and housing statistics

There are 128,130 buildings with living space and inhabited accommodation in Cologne. 132,886 of these buildings are residential-only buildings, 4,951 are other buildings with living space, 266 are dormitories and 27 inhabited accommodations.
The construction of further residential buildings is planned in order to be able to meet the demand in the cathedral city with the corresponding offer. However, many construction projects are not proceeding fast enough, which means that the price of existing housing continues to rise.

Data on residential buildings in Cologne

There are 21,540 residential buildings divided into condominiums in Cologne, which is 16.21 percent of all residential buildings. By 2020, prices are expected to rise by another 20 percent, and the square metre of private living space in Cologne already costs 2,950 euros. 5,419 residential buildings divided into condominiums include municipalities or municipal housing companies. That’s 4.08 percent of all residential buildings.
Old buildings are highly sought after in Cologne but are rare in many districts of the city. During the Second World War, large parts of Cologne were destroyed, so that now only 8.53 percent of the houses from 1919 or earlier stand. 38.83 percent of the residential buildings were built after the war between 1950 and 1969, and 9.04 percent of the residential buildings are new buildings.
There is still room for improvement in this segment, Cologne needs more housing if the population continues to increase, but the building land is becoming increasingly scarce and therefore more expensive.

Data on single-family houses in Cologne

There are 64,012 single-family homes in Cologne, which is 48.17 percent of all residential buildings. Single-family houses in Cologne have risen sharply in the last few years and are now becoming more and more expensive in the peripheral districts. 16,314 of all single-family houses in Cologne are detached, these are particularly popular and usually significantly more expensive than terraced houses.

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Investment in real estate: forecast for Cologne

The prospects for the city of Cologne are bright, which makes it quite interesting for an investment in real estate. The population will increase, the economic situation is good and as one of the four largest cities in Germany Cologne will continue to be popular.
Property prices will continue to rise in the future, which makes investment real estate very expensive, if reasonable properties can still be found at all.

Assessment of the real estate market - Cologne

The housing market in Cologne is completely overheated. If you want to invest in commercial real estate or an investment in apartments, you need a lot of capital and a long breath to find something suitable at all.
Although the city will continue to develop positively and will continue to be attractive in the future, investors should consider whether they would prefer to look for an investment in the Cologne area. There, the prices are even more moderate and the proximity to the city is still there. Please contact our real estate agent responsible for the greater Cologne area today.

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The E1 Investments concept offers a proven system for the solid development of a business as a broker and owner of a real estate business. E1 Real Estate has the infrastructure and operating systems that enable us to offer first-class services with a team of brokers. You are investing in the market of the future.


Year of

City of Cologne
Residents 547172
Area in km2 328.48 km2
Ew./km2 (2016) 1666 km2
Änd. [] (previous year) 0,62 %
city for the first time
State of North Rhine-Westphalia
Economic focus nanotechnology, IT, life science, tourism, plant construction
Unemployment rate 6.8 (8/2018)
Top residential locations Loschwitz, Blasewitz, Striesen-Ost, Bühlau, Weißer Hirsch
Vacancy rate 2.1 (2014)
Rental mirror (good location, from 76 m2, status: 2015) 7.99 € / m2
Buildings with living space and inhabited accommodation inthe al. 57159
Number of single-family houses (detached buildings, semi-detached houses, terraced houses with exactly 1 apartment; only residential buildings) 23865
on all residential buildings 43,13991323
including: in detached building 13697
on all residential buildings 24,75958062
Residential buildings
below: which are divided into condominiums
8173 st.
including: the municipalities or municipal
whg. companies belong to
construction Residential building built before 1919 24.2
Residential building built from 1950 to 1969 8.34
Residential building built in 2000 or later 10.73

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