Compared to England and Holland, Germany is densely populated, has a less international real estate market and a fewer well-known properties. Germany does however have an old garden tradition and many fine estates. See list of gardens to visit in Germany and Gothein's on the history of garden design in Germany Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 and note on Landscape Gardens in Germany.
Germany has the largest economy and population in Europe. The country is divided into sixteen federal states. Germany was reunified in 1990 following the fall of the Berlin Wall that split East and West Germany. Germany was a founding member of the European Union. In January 1999, the Euro replaced the Deutschmark as the German currency. The climate of Germany is cool temperate. Lowlands in the north and alpine in the south.
There are no restrictions on foreign ownership of real estate in Germany. As a result of Germany's struggling economy, the German property market is undervalued at the moment and property prices are low. Since the mid 90s, property prices have stagnated and fallen while the housing market boomed elsewhere. The immaturity of the property market means that prices are somewhat erratic so similar properties may sell for widely different prices and real estate agency fees are high (although commonly split between the buyer and seller). Taking into account fees and taxes, budget on transaction costs 10-12% of the price of the property.
The most popular regions of Germany for leisure property are Bavaria, the Black Forest (Baden-Württemberg) and the Rhine Valley. All are known for neat, flower-filled forest villages with neat gardens. Germany is a great country for walking with well-marked forest trails.
Berlin is the capital of Germany and is set amongst sandy woods and forests. Tiergarten, Berlin's largest park, gives the city a "green" centre. Berlin's economy has been weak for the last decade as compared to the German average so there are some good investment opportunities. House prices are lower than other German cities such as Munich and Hamburg. In the centre of Berlin, much of the available accommodation is flats. Houses with gardens tend to be on the outskirts of the city.
A mountainous region in the southwest of Germany, the Black Forest is famous for its primeval woodlands (the name comes from the dark colour of the native coniferous trees). The spa town of Baden-Baden is more cosmopolitan than other towns in the region.
The Bavarian town of Bertchtesgarden is set in some beautiful alpine scenery. The Königssee lake is the deepest in Germany.
Walking country in Germany
German house (Berlin)
Palace garden (Berlin)
Castle garden (Bavaria)