August: Surcharges for balcony and elevator - almost everywhere

August: Surcharges for balcony and elevator - almost everywhere

Chart of the Month
10.08.2020 Author/s: Dr. Maximilian Schlachter

How do certain apartment characteristics affect the purchase price and rent? This question is relevant for many market participants such as project developers, portfolio owners and property valuers. It can be answered with the help of statistical tools and a corresponding data basis. The results are by no means consistent in the class A cities.

The current chart of the month shows the percentage influence of an elevator and a balcony on the rent or the price of a multi-story apartment.

It is easy to see that the picture is anything but consistent when it comes to the surcharges for balcony and elevator: The price surcharge for an elevator varies both between cities and between condominiums and rental apartments.

Berlin has the highest surcharge for condominiums at 10.63 %, while Cologne, on the other hand, has a slightly negative value of -0.64 %. With regard to the influence of the elevator, however, it should be noted that there may be interactions with other properties such as the number of floors and year of construction. In the case of rental apartments, the fluctuation between cities is much less pronounced.

Higher price premiums for balconies are observed for condominiums compared to rental apartments in all class A cities. However, there are differences of almost four percentage points in the level of the surcharge for class A cities. The picture for the price premium for rented apartments is much more homogeneous. For example, between 3% and 5% more rent is paid for a balcony.

Complex explanatory approaches

A possible explanation for the differences between the cities could be the current market situation in the respective cities. If the housing market is tight and supply is therefore limited, the less the individual property characteristics play a role in the search for property and thus also in pricing.

Further differences can be found in the development structure of the cities themselves. For example, they have different levels of development. And since an elevator is more useful with an increasing number of floors, its price premium should also be higher in a city with a higher development structure. This would explain the high mark-up for Berlin compared to the other cities.

In addition to the pure number of floors, the structure of the development in terms of the different construction periods can also have an influence on prices. For example, properties from the 1960s are more likely to have a balcony than buildings from the Gründerzeit. For real estate as a heterogeneous economic good, these interactions cannot always be completely isolated.

Further studies on property characteristics such as living space, furnishings or condition as well as on location characteristics at the micro and macro level - for example, via the RIWIS database - can provide more transparency in pricing on the property market.


Contact person: Dr. Maximilian Schlachter, project manager at bulwiengesa, schlachter [at]