Germany’s banks are cashing in on the real estate boom by ramping up their mortgage lending at growth rates not seen in many years, according to research by Barkow Consulting, commissioned by Handelsblatt.
Real estate lending reached €235 billion, or $266 billion, in 2016, up a quarter from 2009, the Barkow study showed. The loan portfolio in bank balance sheets has been growing at annual rates of almost 4 percent in recent years.
“Those are high growth rates by German standards even if they’re not nearly as high as in some countries before the financial crisis,” said Peter Barkow, founder of Barkow Consulting. The last real estate boom in Germany was back in the early 1990s, following unification.