Germany's stunning Baltic and North Sea coastlines present holidaymakers with endless miles of white sandy beaches, pine-shaded promenades and plenty of water sports activities like sailing, fishing and wind-surfing - not to mention award-winning seafood restaurants. For investors, the manifold attractions of islands like Amrum, Sylt or Rügen and upmarket resorts like Travemünde and Timmendorfer-Strand in the Lübecker Bucht, just an hour's drive from Hamburg, offer good holiday rental yields and excellent capital gains potential.
The island of Sylt is one of Germany's most sought-after holiday destinations and this is reflected in the price. This is where TV celebrities meet premier league footballers over a steaming cup of Pharisäer and create headlines. Sylt is the largest of the North Frisian Islands, and lies in the far north of Schleswig-Holstein. Its main tourist resorts are Kampen, Westerland and Wenningstedt-Braderup.
The island boasts a 25-mile long (40-km long) sandy beach in the east. Sylt is accessible via flights to Hamburg and Copenhagen, and connected by train and road via the Hindenburgdamm causeway. To the east, Sylt overlooks the marshlands of the Wadden Sea, which is part of the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty, ideal for hiking, biking, bird-watching and water sports.
The average asking price per square metre currently stands at 6,700 euros, an increase of more than 7 per cent, compared to 2016. Just over 53 per cent of properties on offer in Sylt are houses, of which the most desirable are traditional red-brick built farm houses whose thatched roofs and extensive gardens represent what make Sylt such a charming, romantic place to visit.
Expect to pay at least 845,000 euros for a historic farmhouse with 96 square metres of floorspace and two bedrooms. A similar property with 125 square metres of floorspace and a total of 5 rooms, or three bedrooms, costs on average ca. 1,490,000 euros.
However, a 1990-built, fully updated, semi-detached house containing two spacious holiday apartments and sitting in a 213 square metre plot, can be found for around 749,000 euros. Sylt attracts year-round tourism, so rental yields are far better than at other island resorts, such as Binz or Prora on the island of Rügen for example, which are predominantly summer holiday destinations.
Buying via a German bank, building society or estate agency adds at least 5.95 per cent commission to the overall purchase price. This is payable right at the end, when the notary completes the transaction between vendor and buyer. Buying is very safe in Germany - and quick! Even if the buyer makes the purchase with a mortgage, the whole process can be completed in seven days, if no unforeseen problems arise.