Brexit or not, Berlin will never rival London as Europe’s leading tech hub says CBRE’s EMEA head of digital innovation Thomas Herr. “There is only one London,” he says. “There is no way Berlin will ever be a London. It hurts me to say that, but it’s true.”
Herr, a Berliner himself, adds that despite the German capital’s burgeoning start-up scene, rising costs could turn it into “just another expensive, boring city.”
A lack of housing stock - the vacancy rate for apartments currently stands at 1.2% - and tight office supply means that rising rents are threatening to quash entrepreneurial spirit. In a city where only 18% of people own their homes, Berlin’s apartment rents rose by 8.8% to 9.79 euros a month in 2017 according to CBRE - a figure which has grown 71% over the last decade.
Residential options outside of the city and the prevalence of co-working space have, so far, successfully supported Berlin’s digital community. But does the German capital have what it takes to retain its raw, innovative talent despite a squeeze on space, supply and resource?