WhiteNav homeSTART PAGE
4eb9f5d2 7c9a 48c7 818d 69a681a8aade.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1
Exporo AGDirektinvestitionen5 MIN READING TIME2018-11-12

Cologne: These cities promise the best return! (Part 5/7)

In the fifth part of our site series we introduce you to the Rhine metropolis Cologne.

With more than one million inhabitants, Cologne is one of the largest cities in Germany. It enjoys a worldwide reputation as an international metropolis for business and culture. This attracts tourists from all over the world, who want to get to know the 2,000-year-old city and its modern flair. Cologne is a carnival stronghold and one of the leading locations in the field of art trade. The direct location on the Rhine gives her a high quality of life. In addition, it was and is an important trading center with its four inland ports. With more than 75,000 students at various universities and colleges, Cologne is the largest research and education location within the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region. Cologne is one of the most important locations for real estate investment in Germany. In 2015, the transaction volume for residential real estate was 160 million euros.



  • Cologne's population is very mixed, which is reflected above all in the influx of migrants. According to current statistics, every third inhabitant has foreign roots. This contributes to Cologne being a relatively young city. Around 50% of all inhabitants are between 18 and 50 years old.
  • Population forecasts indicate that the population in Cologne will rise steadily over the next 20 years. This is mainly due to a positive migration balance. As the population ages, the need for age-appropriate housing will continue to increase. The number of people between 0 and 18 years will decrease slightly.
  • In the German comparison, Cologne has an above-average number of one-person households with 50.4%. This ensures a high demand for smaller residential units. The districts with the highest percentage of one-person households are the city center, Ehrenfeld and Lindenthal.


  • Cologne is very conveniently located, which was already appreciated by the Romans. So the city was connected to the Roman highway network and inspired by the harbor on the Rhine.
  • Cologne has an excellent infrastructure and a well-developed road network. In addition, the city has the Cologne Central Station, which is one of the hubs for long-distance rail traffic. The airport
  • Cologne / Bonn serves international airlines. The various Rhine ferries are now mainly of tourist importance, but also serve the transport of goods.
    Within the city, there is a dense network of buses and trams connecting all parts of the city.

Work / economy

  • Cologne is one of the most important business locations in Germany. He has gone through a fundamental structural change from the manufacturing sector to the service sector. At the same time, Cologne has always been an important location for traffic and commerce.
  • Particularly dominant in Cologne are the automotive, engineering, chemical, media and insurance sectors. For some years, e-commerce and computer games as well as music production have been added.
  • In 2015, Cologne was awarded the title of "digital city within Germany" in a ranking of an international management consultancy and the Geographical Institute of the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn.
  • The city is making successful efforts to further expand the biotech and life science sectors.
  • Cologne was able to slightly lower the unemployment rate. In December 2015 it was around 8.8%. This is due to employment growth of around 0.6%.
  • GDP per capita per year in Cologne is well above the German average. The same counts for the purchasing power.

Education / Culture

  • Cologne has more than 19 universities and is therefore one of the three largest university campuses in the Federal Republic next to Munich and Berlin. The range of general and further education schools is also extensive.
  • Cologne has numerous research institutions across all scientific disciplines. Of particular note are the University Hospital, the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research and the Biology of Aging, and the German Aerospace Center.
  • Cologne is a significant cultural location. He has several theaters, galleries and orchestras. Offers for the young and older target group are there as it were.
  • Some bands and music producers are based in Cologne, which gives the city additional impetus in cultural life.
  • Extensive is the list of museums. On it you can find art museums as well as history museums and special museums on topics such as fragrances, chocolate or carnival.

Leisure / Sports

  • Cologne has two green belts and numerous parks as well as green areas that offer local recreation. Also worth mentioning are the Botanical Gardens and the 20-hectare Cologne Zoo.
  • The metropolis is embedded in a picturesque surrounding. Extensive natural landscapes can be discovered in the Rhineland, in the ** Bergisches Land and in the Eifel.
  • The city finances a total of 775 sports clubs. The most famous clubs are the football club 1. FC. Cologne from the 2nd Bundesliga and the Kölner Haie from the German Ice Hockey League.

Top residential areas

  • Despite the suburbanisation trend, the top residential locations in Cologne are close to the city center. They include Lindenthal, Marienburg and Braunsfeld. Also Neuehrenffeld, Bayenthal and Sülz enjoy a continuing popularity. Rents of more than 12 euros per square meter can be easily achieved there.
  • In recent years, rents in prime residential areas have increased significantly, making B locations more attractive. As a result, rents and selling prices for apartments in top locations remained at a high level, while prices in B locations rose slightly in 2015.

investment factors

  • The positive migration balance and the associated population growth, in combination with an excellent infrastructure and decreasing unemployment figures make Cologne a worthwhile location for real estate investments. A long-term positive development is likely.
  • As one of the most important cultural and business cities in Germany and Europe, Cologne has numerous pull factors. Both companies and well-educated workers will continue to be interested in the metropolis on the Rhine.


  • Rents and selling prices for housing in Cologne will continue to rise in the long term. The demand is still great and can not be satisfied by the new construction and conversion activities. Living space in mature neighborhoods is therefore in short supply.
  • However, the demand for smaller housing units for one-family households is and remains particularly high. In the future, too, the need for age-appropriate housing will increase.
  • The vacancy rate of apartments in Cologne has fallen steadily since 2007, to 1.1% in 2014.
  • A decline in rents and selling prices is not to be expected even in the long term due to the immense importance of Cologne as a place to live and work. Temporarily it can only come to a stagnation of the prices.


Cologne is an interesting location for investors who want to achieve good returns on residential real estate. The continuing need for housing and the low supply of properties should also provide a positive long-term development.