07 Feb Mark Cummins – a Berlin investment success story
Mark Cummins – an Berlin investment success story
Selling Berlin investment property with Black Label Properties
Irish based property investor Mark Cummins purchased a small block of twelve apartments close to Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin in 2007. After ten years experience of investing in his home market, Mark was attracted to Berlin by its reputation as a stable and, as he describes it, “hassle-free” destination to invest in property.
Taking a long-term view, he knew that while yields in Berlin may not be as high as some other locations, tenants rented long-term and looked after their properties, and so returns would be predictable and sustainable over the life of his investment.
Over the next ten years, with the help of a small established local property management company Hausverwaltung Montag, Mark maintained his investment in the city and enjoyed a good relationship with his tenants with only one minor issue that was quickly resolved.
When Mark came to consider selling his investment after ten years, he looked for the support of a locally based estate agency. After checking Black Label out on-line and liking what he read about our approach to buying and selling property in Berlin, he made contact with one of our senior Directors Achim Amann, with whom he immediately struck up a rapport.
Initially he discussed selling the block as one unit in the way that he had bought it, and through the team at Black Label we looked into a potential single buyer for his investment. While there were some options to do this, Mark was also keen to explore the option of selling the apartments individually, which would take longer but ultimately be much more profitable.
With the legal “Division Declaration” already in place that divided the block into individual condominiums, Black Label set to work on developing a sales strategy for Mark, looking at the value of each apartment, and whether the tenants wanted to purchase their apartments themselves or take an option of receiving financial compensation for ending their rental contract.
Over the next year, as some tenants opted to move out, we marketed the apartments across both domestic German and international property portals and to our database of existing clients and contacts. With a vacancy rate of only just over 1% for property in Berlin and reasonably priced vacant apartments become more and more scarce, Black Label received a huge amount of interest in Mark’s properties from both people looking to purchase their own home and those looking to make smaller investments into one or two apartments.
Even in such market conditions, it was important for us to ensure we found the right buyers for the properties who could sustainably afford them and appreciated what they were buying.
Several of the apartments that became vacant were sold to young international buyers who were already living and working in Berlin and were looking to purchase their first property here. These buyers appreciated the good value the properties represented, coming with well-cut floor-plans, generous cellar storage spaces, well kept open spaces and located within a few minutes walk of shops and public transport.
The small investors who purchased an apartment here also appreciated these factors in being able to keep or attract tenants, as well as looking at them as Mark did originally as a safe and secure long-term capital investment in a city that continues to be ranked at the top of the league table for investment destinations.
Ultimately, by taking a long-term view of his investment and a long-term view on selling it, Black Label Properties helped Mark achieve the best possible return over the twelve years he has now owned property in the city, while treating his tenants fairly and transparently.