German Apartment-Block Sales Jump 23 Percent to Most Since 2006

Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) -- German apartment portfolios valued at 13.8 billion euros ($18.8 million) changed hands in 2013, the most since 2006 as publicly traded landlords expanded their properties to take advantage of rising rents.

Companies spent 23 percent more on German homes, in groupings of at least 50 units, in 2013 than a year earlier, CBRE Group Inc. said in a statement today. German buyers accounted for 80 percent of deals, including Deutsche Wohnen AG’s acquisition of rival GSW Immobilien AG’s 60,000 units.

“The supply on offer, especially in large and economically strong cities, isn’t sufficient to meet the demand,” said Konstantin Luettger, head of German residential investment at CBRE in Frankfurt.

German homes have been targeted by investors seeking to profit from steady rental income that’s supported by a growing economy and low unemployment in Europe’s largest economy. Listed companies such as Deutsche Wohnen are taking advantage of low interest rates and stock-price gains to finance large acquisitions.

Investors announced 202 transactions with more than 216,600 units in 2013, with most of the large deals taking place in Berlin and neighboring states, CBRE said. While foreign investors showed strong interest in German homes last year, they were often outbid by domestic companies.

CBRE said it expects at least 10 billion euros of residential transactions in 2014.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dalia Fahmy in Berlin at dfahmy1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at ablackman@bloomberg.net