Real estate maintenance costs in Germany include taxes and insurance, property management fees and utility bills as well as monthly mortgage payments. It costs €1,200–1,500 per year to maintain an apartment and up to €3,500 for a house.

Taxes

The annual property tax (Grundsteuer) is assessed as follows: 0.35% of the estimated property value multiplied by the ‘local rate’. The estimated property value is the tax (not market) value of the land on which the property is located. For apartments, the estimated property value is assessed according to the proportional share of land area on which the apartment building stands. This land value depends on many things including the property type, area and location.

Property tax rate multiplier
in Germany

Berlin 8.10
Bremen 5.80
Hamburg 5.40
Dortmund 5.40
Dresden 6.35
Düsseldorf 4.40
Cologne 5.15
Leipzig 6.50
Munich 5.35
Frankfurt 4.60
Stuttgart 5.20

For example, a €20,000 apartment in Berlin will be subject to annual taxes of €567 (20,000 × 0.0035 × 8.1 = 567).

Those leasing their property must pay personal income tax (Einkommensteuer) at a maximum rate of 45%.

Personal income tax rates in Germany
(2014)

Income, € Rates,
%
Up to 8,354 0
up to 16,708 0*
8,355–52,821 14
16,709–105,763 14*
52,822–250,730 42
105,764–501,460 42*
from 250,731 45
from 501,461 45*

*For married couples with shared income

Insurance

A homeowner can choose to insure their property. Price estimates (Wohngebäudeversicherung) are available on TopTarif.de. Home insurance costs about €200 per year on average.

Management company fees

When purchasing an apartment in Germany, the buyer must be accepted into the homeowner association and pay membership that goes towards the maintenance and repairs of common areas (staircase, attic and basement) performed by a management company that charges each household €20–50 per month.

Utility bills

Water, electricity, heating, TV and waste removal cost about €25.20/sq. m. in Munich, €22.60/sq. m. in Hamburg and €21.60/sq. m. in Berlin.

Average utility billsin Germany,
€/month
Water, gas, electricity and waste removal costs for 85 sq. m. apartment
(reported by Numbeo)

Berlin 169
Bremen 145
Hamburg 202
Dortmund 306
Dresden 180
Düsseldorf 169
Leipzig 175
Munich 235
Frankfurt 205
Stuttgart 220

According to the consulting company NUS, water in Germany is the most expensive in the world. It costs €1.90/m³, four times more than in the USA and twice as much as in Australia.

Gas bills are €1,300–1,400 on average per year and electricity bills about €1,400–1,500.

Average gas and electricity costs
in Germany (2013), €/year(reported by Check24, Verivox)

Region Gas Electricity
Bavaria 1,291 1,492
Baden-Württemberg 1,318 1,495
Berlin 1,277 1,458
Brandenburg 1,288 1,536
Bremen 1,294 1,481
Hamburg 1,162 1,443
Hessen 1,298 1,466
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 1,368 1,447
Lower Saxony 1,278 1,451
Rhineland-Palatinate 1,351 1,521
Saarland 1,430 1,526
Saxony 1,369 1,480
Saxony-Anhalt 1,415 1,518
North Rhine-Westphalia 1,318 1,468
Thuringia 1,371 1,525
Schleswig-Holstein 1,294 1,453

Find average utility costs per property type in German regions at Verivox.de.

Repairs

Repairs near landmarks or historic buildings can be subject to restrictions. For instance, there are laws regulating window replacement or alteration of buildings near constructions of historic importance.

Repair costs in Germany(reported by Geprueft.de)

External painting and
repairs
from €20/sq. m.
Renovation of a
5–10 sq. m. bathroom
€5,000–30,000
Woodflooring from €65/sq. m.
Roofing
Concrete tiles from €18/sq. m.
Clay tiles from €50/sq. m.
Slate from €100/sq. m.
Noise insulation €55–165/sq. m.
Window installation and insulation €500
Internal insulation €30–70/sq. m.
Door installation and insulation
Front door from €1,500
Interior doors from €200

Homeowners are liable for the maintenance of their properties. Tenants cover taxes and utility bills and lessors pay the insurance and the management company fees of their leased apartments.

 
 
Free advice on real estate in Germany
Alexander Hincu
Property Advisor
+44 20 3608 1267
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