FRANKFURT AM MAIN

CITY PROFILE

Frankfurt am Main is the fifth largest German city and the centre of the Rhine-Main region. And it offers some highlights. Its skyscrapers, financial institutions of global significance as well as its status as an important infrastructure hub with the Frankfurt airport characterize the Hessian metropolis. In addition to the many hard factors, one tends to neglect its numerous soft location factors. Frankfurt has even more to offer.

Population

  • Frankfurt keeps growing rapidly with an annual plus of 15,000 inhabitants: 729,624 residents were registered in the Main metropolis in 2016. Until 2030 this number can very well rise by 100,000 inhabitants – bringing the number to 830,000 residents as demographic experts predict.
  • Hesse’s largest city has 46 neighbourhoods, with the Altstadt being the smallest quarter with 3,710 residents and the southern Sachsenhausen being the largest with 57,234 residents. The extended catchment area also includes Offenbach, Main-Taunus, Hochtaunus, Wetterau, Main-Kinzig and Groß-Gerau, which brings the total number of residents of the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main metropolitan area to 5.5 million residents.
  • The demographic change will be reduced notably due to the influx of younger generations. According to population forecasts, the number of residents in the age group of 18 to 25 will increase from 53,819 in 2014 to 64,824 by 2030. In comparison, the increase in the population between the ages of 75 and 85 is considerably lower: From 39,265 citizens in 2014 it will rise to only 42,404 in 2030. Therefore, the amount of residents in the younger age groups will be three times as high as the elderly age group.

Infrastructure

  • Due to its central location, Frankfurt is an important transport hub in Germany and Europe, where motor traffic, trains, ships and air traffic meet. *At the Frankfurter Kreuz, the motorway crossroad with more than 300,000 vehicles daily, the motorways A5 in the direction of Basel and the A3 in the direction of the Dutch town Arnhem to the Austrian Linz meet. Frankfurt is connected to Wiesbaden in the West and Fulda in the East via the A 66. A motorway ring surrounds the city and leads to the North East via the A 661, over the A 5 from the West and over the A 3 from the South. Since October 2008 the area is located in the environmental zone and can only be used with a “green badge”.
  • Getting around in Frankfurt is easiest with the public transportation of the Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund (RMV). The public transport which approximately 300,000 commuters use daily has a well-developed network of subways, trams and buses.
  • The airport Frankfurt am Main is one of the largest airports in the world. In 2014, nearly 60 million passengers were dispatched here and over 2.08 tons of freight were handled. 104 airlines use the airport for passenger traffic and fly to 297 destinations in 104 countries. Within 30 minutes the airport can be reached with the S-Bahn from the Frankfurt main station.

Work / Economy

  • 8.1% of the German gross value added is generated in the Rhine-Main region, while services account for 8.9%. This makes the area one of the most productive locations in Germany.
  • With a GDP per capita of € 98,000, Frankfurt is the most economically powerful city in Germany.
  • 63,644 businesses are located in Frankfurt and employ 651,800 people.
  • Frankfurt has a reputation as a financial centre and lands on place 9 in an international comparison. In addition to the European Central Bank and the German Central Bank, the biggest four credit institutions ((Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, KfW Bankengruppe and DZ Bank) are also based in Frankfurt.
  • The Deutsche Börsen AG (German Stock Exchange), one of the leading stock exchange markets with earnings after interests and taxes of over one billion euros. At the end of 2012, 990,000 financial instruments were traded.
  • In addition, Frankfurt is focussed on life science / biotechnology, IT / telecommunications, real estate and logistics and mobility. With the HOLM, the House of Logistics and Mobility, the city has had an innovative cluster of business, science, institutes and young companies, which enjoy an international reputation.
  • Messe Frankfurt is also an exhibition venue of international standing, which is second only to Hannover, globally. Every year, there are 46 exhibitions, including the Frankfurt Book Fair and the IAA - International Automobile Exhibition as well as Light & Building every two years.
  • Not least because of its international focus, Frankfurt is so successful. 20% of the companies based in Frankfurt are international companies. 827 US companies have their German company headquarters in Frankfurt. Some of these companies are: Nike, Dell, Honeywell, Motorola, DuPont and Goodyear. With its know-how and culture, the business community contributes to the cosmopolitan flair of the city, which is why Frankfurt is ranked 7th in terms of the world's most liveable cities - ahead of Berlin (14th place) and Hamburg (16th place).
  • The unemployment rate was 6.1% in October 2016 and is thus at a historic low.

Education / Culture

  • Frankfurt offers a wide range of municipal and private educational institutions: From primary schools to a three-tier school system, to educational institutions with profiles divided by majors (bilingualism, mother tongue, environmental education, the promotion of special talents) and integrative approaches. The Gynamsium is by far the most visited secondary school form with 33.2%. More than 800 child care centres with 45,000 places are available for early childhood care. Vocational training can take place through one of the 26 municipal or state-recognized private vocational schools.
  • The Office for Multicultural Affairs (AmK), founded in 1989, which develops programs for the linguistic and professional development of young migrants, is a highlight of the education system.
  • There are approximately 62,500 students enrolled in Frankfurt, which corresponds to a population share of almost 9%. There are a total of 15 universities, including the renowned Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, which is the fourth largest university in Germany after the Fernuniversität Hagen, the University of Cologne and the Ludwig Maximillians University in Munich.
  • In addition, the city has other renowned institutes, including the Frankfurt University of Applied Science (12,471 students) and the private Frankfurt School of Finance & Management (1,600 students). A multi-faceted research landscape has grown for decades, in which all disciplines are equally represented: There are three Max Planck Institutes (Biophysics, Brain Research and European Legal History), the Senckenberg Society, which is globally renowned for their research in geo-biology and biodiversity as well as the Institute for Socio-Ecological Research (ISOE), which was founded 25 years ago and deals with sustainable development.
  • In terms of its size, Frankfurt offers a cultural program of a metropolis. Annually, the city supports the cultural diversity with around 250 million euros. 20 theatres and 30 independent groups offer a wide repertoire, including the Forsythe Company, which emerged from the legendary Theater am Turm (TAT) in 2005. In the Old Opera, which is one of the leading music centres in Europe, musicians of all genres perform regularly. The German Filmmuseum and the Filmforum Höchst also provide an outstanding cinema program.
  • Frankfurt is also renowned for its unique museum landscape, which includes 60 exhibition halls and galleries. The Museumsufer along the river Main is well-known, where there are several museums within a few hundred meters featuring different genres, styles and epochs, such as the Städel, the German Architecture Museum (DAM), the Museum of World Cultures and the Museum of Applied Art. The exhibition in the Schirn Kunsthalle and the Museum für Moderne Kunst (MMK) is also spectacular.
  • Every year the peace prize of the German book trade is awarded during the book fair in Frankfurt. It is considered to be one of the most prestigious literary awards ever. The international high-rise prize (IHP) endowed with 50,000 euros has been awarded every two years since 2004. Amongst architects and builders it is a desired award.
  • In memory of the philosopher Theodor W. Adorno, who taught at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University from 1949 until his death in 1969, once every three years, the city awards the "Theodor W. Adorno Prize" for the recognition of outstanding achievements in the fields of philosophy, music, theatre and film.

Leisure / Sports

  • Over 50% of Frankfurt's urban areas are green and water surfaces. With over 40 parks and 50 lakes you will find the perfect sport for relaxation and sport activities. Around the city centre, the green belt of the Grüngürtel, an 8,000 hectare landscape conservation area, runs into the Rhine-Main region. This includes the 4,900-hectare Frankfurter Stadtwald in the south. Together they form one of the largest inner-German forest areas. Thanks to well-developed hiking and cycling trails, you can explore the huge area for hours.
  • Only recently, the "Europagarten" in the newly developed city center Europaviertel was built with 6 hectares in the middle of the city, where residents find rest from everyday life – much like an urban "Green City". In addition to this, there is the "Bonifatiuspark" in the new district of Riedberg. With 94 hectares the visitors have numerous sports and leisure facilities and a nice view of the Frankfurt skyline due to the park being elevated.
  • Another highlight is the Palmengarten, founded in 1868, in the Frankfurt Westend. It is one of the most visited gardens in Germany. The 22-hectare green space is not only for tourists a must-see. Locals also use the idyll under palm trees to relax in nature.
  • The 200-meter-high Maintower is another attraction and it is the only "public skyscraper in Frankfurt". The fourth-highest building has a restaurant and two viewing platforms on the top floors, from where visitors can view Frankfurt’s skyline every day. If you enjoy a good thrill, you will love the floor surface built out of break-resistant glass.
  • The visitor terrace at Terminal 2 of the Frankfurt Airport is also quite popular. By summer 2016, it will be converted into the "World of Adventure Airport". This is the closest you will get to the airplanes. In addition to an interactive information centre, the terrace will also have an airport shop and a restaurant.
  • The Commerzbank-Arena, the home stadium of the national football team Eintracht Frankfurt, is a sporting venue. 51,000 spectators fit into the multifunctional stadium where football matches, music concerts and business events take place.
  • There are 400 clubs, which offer a wide range of sports activities from basketball to rugby. The "J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge" is well-known beyond the city limits. Here some 70,000 runners and corporate teams compete for the fastest time on the 5.6-kilometer circuit through Frankfurt City.

BEST RESIDENTIAL LOCATIONS

Frankfurt also shines bright in real estate: The tallest office towers, the most elegant residential high-rise buildings, the most expensive city penthouses. Fact is that the city is working on 32 urban development projects by 2030 and is using this opportunity to become a future-oriented metropolis of the 21st century. Residential constructions are mainly the focus in order to be able to offer 100,000 new residents a broad range of housing. 300 empty office buildings represent an additional challenge for which a dedicated feasibilty study was developed in order to convert this space into residential buildings. In an urban development competition new project plans were decided upon only recently in regards to the conversion of the former Deutsche Bank site in the city centre of Frankfurt. Between the Roßmarkt, Main-Tower and Commerzbank-Tower apartments, 60,000 m² of modern office space as well as hotels, restaurants and retail are being built according to plans by the Amsterdam-based architecture agency UN Studio.

  • Since 2005 the Europaviertel has been built on the former freight yard. On 90 hectares, offices, hotels, apartments, a school, a park and various shopping and leisure facilities will be created by 2019. Afterwards, the quarter, which is located between Hauptbahnhof and Frankfurt Messe, offers residential space for approximately 10,000 people and work opportunities for 30,000 people. The Europaviertel is already internationally known for its newly built residential high-rise buildings. One of the most spectacular projects is the "Grand Tower" (formerly "Tower 2") with 172 meters at the entrance of the Europaviertel, which will be the highest residential high-rise in Germany after its completion at the end of 2018. On 47 floors there are 400 exclusive apartments between 185 m² and 300 m². The purchase price starts at 5,700 € / m² and amounts to 19,000 € / m². Facilities include an on-site concierge service, two landscaped gardens (200 m² and 960 m²) on the 5th and 42nd and a viewing platform on the Turmspitze. The "Praedium" will be another luxurious residential tower only a few hundred meters from the "Grand Tower" in the Europaviertel. With a height of 60 meters, it is considerably shorter, but offers similar comfort in its 242 apartments: Generous floor plans between 100 m² and 200 m², balconies, private gardens and a impressive view of the Frankfurt skyline. The square meter will cost approximately € 5,000 on average, but it will be twice as expensive on the top floors. While the construction work for the 60-meter-high "Cascada" with 175 condominiums has recently been started in the last section of the Europaviertel, the 20-storey "Axis" has 153 properties in the western part of the district.
  • Not only is Frankfurt setting new standards for urban living vertically. Also when it comes to inner-city district developments, we are breaking new ground: In the trendy district of Gallus, for example, where the realization of 1,500 owner-occupied and rental apartments - 30% of which are socially supported - is planned on a formerly commercially used area. Located close to the main train station, the price per square meter for a new condominium will cost an average of € 5,288 / m². In addition, 115 condominiums await completion of the construction project "Echt Gallus".
  • One of the finest neighbourhoods in Frankfurt is Westend-Süd, where the prestigious "Linné am Westendplatz" is currently being built only a few minutes walk from the Alte Oper. Demanding residents are spoiled with a choice between 16 stylish condominiums with a apartment spaces between 135 m² and 300 m², where every single piece of buildable space is very scarce and highly prices. The price range is from 6,466 € / m² to 11,206 € / m². One of the 5-room penthouses overlooking Westendpark costs 3.37 million euros.
  • Another coveted neighborhood is also Bockenheim, where a new construction project named "Sophie" with 124 condominiums will be built until 2018.
  • With “Living Leo”, there will be 167 condominiums launched in Rebstock this year.
  • In addition to the Innenstadt (city centre), Sachsenhausen is also one of the most sought-after locations and is loved by young people due to its lively ambiance. Cafés, galleries, owner-managed shops and designer boutiques line up between Schweizer Platz and Brückenstrasse. In recent years, numerous upscale to luxurious new condominiums have been realized, including the "Green Life City Frankfurt" and "Grethenweg". If you want to live here, you have to expect purchase prices of 5,117 € / m² on average.
  • Since the mid-1990s, there has been continuous planning and construction work has of the new district of Riedberg in the north-west of Frankfurt. On 266 hectares there are 7 districts with about 6,000 housing units for people of different ages and social structure. After its planned completion in 2020, the modern neighbourhood infrastructure will include a “Science City” including a Max Planck Institute, schools and day-care centres, as well as a 90-hectare park. The average purchase price here is approximately 3,900 € / m² for a condominium and approximately 4,615 € / m² for a single-family house.

The growing city Frankfurt has a lot more in store: In the Housing Development Program 2015, a total of 44 areas were recorded for potential for housing construction. Most of them will be ready for construction within 5 or 10 years.

INVESTMENT FACTORS

  • In light of the influx of around 100,000 people predicted for the next 15 years, an excellent reputation as a top international financial centre, a steady economy in established sectors and the efforts to retain newly emerging sectors (FinTechs) as a result of the digitization, Frankfurt is ready to defend its 4th place in the German city ranking.
  • In addition to that, Frankfurt has the advantage of a well-developed cluster consisting of the financial, consulting, IT and communications sector as well as having to offer great logistics and traffic, which in turn encourages innovation. The main metropolis is also ahead of all other major German cities with more than 4 IT start-ups per 10,000 people of working age.
  • Frankfurt’s economic power can also be noticed in the salaries: An employee earns 14.6 % more than anywhere else in Germany.
  • Last but not least, talented and well-educated people decide on the success of a city. Frankfurt also scores in this area: 31.9% of the students graduate from high school with the Abitur - that's 6th place in the German city comparison. 13.3% of all employees have an academic degree - this is second place to Munich. About half of the 270,000 employees have completed a two to three year vocational training and work as specialists.

VACANCY RATE OF FLATS IN FRANKFURT AM MAIN (2007 - 2014)

Source: empirica, CBRE-empirica-Leerstandsindex, December 2015

PROGNOSIS

  • Frankfurt’s real estate market reached a new record high in the first half of 2015 with 3,691 transactions and sales of approximately EUR 2.6 billion. The sales volume thus increased by 19% compared to the same period of the previous year.
  • Residential real estate in particular is in demand, especially as an investment. The demand now exceeds supply in many parts of the city. In the Westend sales prices for a new-build apartment in the upper segment are over € 10,000 / m². Top prices of more than 6,000 € / m² are also paid in the Europaviertel, in the north and east end as well as in Sachsenhausen, where the average living space is 95 m².
  • The considerable excess demand in coveted locations has led to an increase in purchase prices, which are 13 to 27 times the net annual rent. According to surveys by HypoVereinsbank, high quality properties in good locations have caused an increase in prices of approximately 40% between 2010 and 2015.
  • Experts see a positive trend in the development of the rental yield for high quality residential properties in a prime location. It will rise from around 3.95% in 2014 to a predicted 4.05% by 2018 due to tenants with strong credit ratings and long-term leases.

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