Top European Cities: A Deep Dive into PwC's Real Estate Trends

In an inflationary market, where your purchasing power lessens due to rising prices, the importance of making prudent property investments is heightened. People focus more on low-risk markets and stability, with the best chance of sustainable rents and capital growth possible.

For the past two decades, PwC and the Urban Land Institute (ULI) have been unravelling the complexities of Europe's real estate landscape through their esteemed publication, Emerging Trends in Real Estate Europe. This publication has gained a reputation as a trusted source for investors to draw insight from when making the decision on where to invest next.

As each city across Europe offers unique advantages and disadvantages, below we explore the results of the industry’s most respected annual reports. The graph depicts European cities ranked on their overall prospects in each given year.

European Cities Prospects Graph


Which are PWC’s Most Promising Cities for Property Investment?

  • Berlin has ranked #1 (out of 5) for the past 9 years. No other city has drawn as much confidence in the past decade.
  • London has proven time and time again to have strong international appeal. The city dropped out of the top 10 for 5 consecutive years but has found itself back at the top ranking in the top 5 since 2020.
  • Dublin was considered a hot location during its Tech boom but has started to fall since 2019.
  • Paris has been temperamental but has been on the rise to the top 3 since 2020, despite its high taxes.
  • Copenhagen peaked interest in 2018 but has dropped as low as 19th place in the last couple of years.
  • Madrid is somewhat of an underdog and has remained relatively high in the rankings for its comparative value.
  • Lisbon was red hot in 2019 but has seen a minor decline due to the announcement of the soon-to-be fully closed Golden Visa programme. However robust economic fundamentals have lead to a stronger position in 2023.

lisbon city view

Understanding the Methodology:

The strength of the Emerging Trends report lies in its comprehensive methodology. A collaborative effort between PwC and ULI, the report canvasses the insights of over a thousand property professionals.

These industry experts, that range from investors and fund managers to developers and consultants, contribute to a rich tapestry of perspectives.

These perspectives form the basis of the report's outlook on real estate investment and development trends, where 31 different European cities are studied and compared without bias.

What is the best city for property investment according to PWC’s Emerging Trends in Real Estate Report?

With the possibility of a recession being prevalent across Europe, Berlin has managed to remain one of the top cities to invest in

Berlin's enduring status as a premier real estate market stems from a convergence of factors. Beyond its shared economic strengths with other German cities, Berlin possesses a distinct international allure, while still growing from where it was thirty years ago (prior to the wall coming down).

This underscores Berlin's continuous growth, technological prowess, and unique appeal, making it a standout investment destination.

A key contributor to Berlin's appeal is its adaptability to innovative projects. Notably, repurposing redundant (retail) spaces for e-commerce logistics reflects the city's forward-thinking approach.

Even amid challenges like the pandemic, Berlin's resilience shines through, attracting businesses and solidifying its reputation as a reliable investment hub.

Wide panoramic view to the modern skyline of London, United Kingdom, along the Thames river during sunset time

Investors are enticed by the city's upward potential in rents, supported by Germany's effective crisis management during the pandemic. Berlin did not see a wave of people leaving the city, such as seen in other major cities like London, which has kept the housing market more stable.

The nation's robust economy, coupled with low vacancies in crucial sectors, instils confidence in Berlin's ability to weather economic uncertainties.

Moreover, Berlin's commitment to sustainability and eco-conscious initiatives adds to its appeal.

The city has been at the forefront of green urban planning, with an extensive network of bicycle lanes, green spaces, and a strong focus on renewable energy sources.

The city's consistent high rankings not only highlight its present appeal but also signify a trajectory of growth that transcends two decades, making it a consistent and promising option for discerning real estate investors in Europe.

If you are interested in knowing more about investment opportunities in Berlin, IP Global is happy to help investors through the process. Simply contact us here, or for further reading download the Berlin investment case in 2023 here.

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