An Office Glut Hits Germany

The global commercial-property slump is finally arriving in Germany. Lease rates have slipped as much as 20% recently. With the German economy in recession, some markets are nearing the saturation point. In addition, the Bundesbank's high interest rates are putting the screws to developers. In Berlin alone, projects in the works could quadruple office space by 1994.

Some bankers concede that the slump is raising fears of growing loan losses. But they insist they won't suffer the fate of foreign competitors. "Germans haven't pursued the same speculative excesses as the Japanese or British," says Michael Bullock, chief investment officer at Deutsche Bank's Morgan Grenfell unit.

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