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Hamburg Housing Gains Show Germans Seek Anchor in Real Estate

Hendrik Hesselmann says he tells customers he can’t promise spectacular returns from buying homes through his Hamburg-based real-estate broker. That hasn’t stopped the company from having its best year in six decades.

“We have a lot of very rich customers who say they want to be on the safe side, that banks and markets are too dangerous,” said Hesselmann, a manager at Karla Fricke, which offers properties at Hamburg’s Alster Lake and in HafenCity, Europe’s largest inner-city development. “If they buy an apartment or house, they know nothing strange will happen.”