The neighborhood of Schwabing, just north of the center of Munich, was once known for its German avant-garde culture. Its bookstores, restaurants and open-air cafes were meeting places for artists, writers and intellectuals during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Lively, eclectic and expensive, Schwabing is now home to multimillion-euro homes, a student community from the Munich University of Applied Sciences and the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and some great nightlife spots. It is a hotspot for Art Nouveau architecture and borders one of world’s biggest city parks, the Englischer Garten, or English Garden.
Property investors who bought in the area 10 years ago have seen the price of their properties rise by 50%, according to Constantin von Preysing from the Engel & Völkers estate agency in Munich. ‘There is strong competition for homes, as it is a relatively small area and many people want to live here.“
"Increasing demand has caused high price rises,” he said.
West Belgradstraße forms the area’s western edge and Königinstraße makes up its eastern border and runs along the west side of the English Garden.
Its southern edge is south Georgenstraße and its northern edge is the Bundesstraße 2 R ring road known as the Mittlerer Ring.
Munich is Germany’s most expensive city, and Schwabing is one of its richest neighborhoods.
At the top end of the market in Schwabing, prices range from €12,000 (US$13,924) per square meter to €25,000 (US$29,009) per square meter, Mr. von Preysing said.
He added that homes in new residential developments in the area cost on average between €7,000 (US$8,122) per square meter and €18,000 (US$20,894) per square meter. Expect to pay €20,000 (US$23,207) per square meter and €25,000 per square meter for a penthouse apartment in these blocks.
Michael Reiss of Munich Sotheby’s International Realty gave a slightly smaller range of €15,000 (US$17,405) per square meter and €25,000 per square meter.
“The top-end apartments range from €22,000 (US$25,528) to €25,000 per square meter and houses cost from between €4 million and €10 million (US$4.6 million and US$11.6 million).”
A 300-square-meter four-bedroom house and a garden, for example, would cost around €5 million (US$5.8 million). A similar house by the English Garden park will cost about €10 million and a historic mansion will set you back €15 million (US$17.4 million), Mr. von Preysing said.The pictured five-bedroom luxury apartment in Munich’s Schwabing is currently asking for about $5.5 million.
MUNICH SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY
Schwabing mostly has apartment homes, but there are a few houses. The area has buildings dating from the 1860s to the 1900s and modern infill, since the city was heavily bombed during World War II.
The area features architecture walking tours of the city as it has a wealth of Jugendstil Aart Nouveau buildings, which feature geometric, colorful and floral-inspired patterns. The art movement, which means “youth style” in German, was created by artists who lived and worked in the neighborhood at the turn of the 20th century.
Behind the ornate Jugendstil facades are apartment homes with beautiful and original features. People love the look of this architecture and homes built in this style cost more than their modern counterparts, Mr. von Preysing said. Mr. Reiss said that properties with high ceilings and original features are rare and he estimates that they come with a 10% or more premium.
In addition to apartments, the neighborhood has a collection of semi-detached houses and detached villas with gardens. There are only a small number of them, so they’re expensive and highly sought-after, Mr. von Preysing said.
What Makes It Unique
Its history as a hub for avant-garde artists and its abundance of Art Nouveau architecture makes it a visually and culturally interesting place. Side-street cafes, art galleries, bookshops, art galleries, gourmet eateries, independent shops and green space are in abundance.
The fact that the area is socially diverse and attracts an international crowd makes it an exciting place to live, Mr. von Preysing said. “It’s not a millionaire community, it’s quite diverse.”
In addition to its lively vibe, it is two miles from the central square in the city known as Marienplatz square and 20 miles from Munich airport. “The geographical position of the district makes it a very convenient place to live,” Mr. von Preysing added.
Mr. Reiss cites its close proximity to the English Garden and the city center as reasons for its popularity.Balcony of a five-bedroom, 3,336-square-foot apartment in the heart of the Maxvorstadt district
MUNICH SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY
A historic avenue with tree-lined sidewalks, regal buildings and the Siegestor triumphal arch at one end, Leopoldstrasse and its side streets is a bustling spot full of places to eat, drink and shop.
Independent shops include the Falkenberg concept store on Franz-Josef-Strasse just off Leopoldstrasse, which has an array of design-led pieces for the home, and the Munich Readery on Augustenstrasse, an English-language second hand bookshop.
For luxury fashion brands, head to Maximilianstrasse two miles away in the center of Munich, where there are boutiques by Cartier, Boss, Christian Louboutin, Gucci, Chanel, Bally, Ralph Lauren and Hermes.
There are also plenty of places to buy fresh produce in the area, but perhaps none are quite as charming as Elisabethmarkt. The market on Elisabethplatz sells fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs and is said to be one of the most authentic in the city.
The residents of Schwabing have the wide-open spaces of the English Garden on their doorstep. Here you can walk, run, cycle and play sports games on the expansive grassy meadows and go surfing on its manmade river known as the Eisbach.
Plays, concerts and other performances are hosted at The Casino am Nordbad, a venue for the performing arts, and art house films from all over the globe are shown at Monopol Kino, an art house cinema and bar.
The area has many dining spots, and Tantris is probably its most famous. With a 1970s retro interior, this destination gourmet restaurant has a menu inspired by French and Switzerland cuisine and has been awarded two Michelin stars. Meanwhile, a pub/restaurant founded in 1903, Alter Simpl is rated for its Bavarian dishes.
Leo’s Sports Club on Leopoldstrasse has a huge gym and is “the place to go if you live in that part of the city,” Mr. von Preysing said.
The Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and University of Applied Sciences are both located here. But there are no international schools in the area. They are mostly located in the town of Starnberg 18 miles south of Schwabing.
4FR / Getty Images
Who Lives There
There are top-earning professionals, such as footballers, CEOs, old money families and long-standing residents, and since it is home to two universities it has a large student population.
The area is becoming more international as multinational companies move ins, according to Mr. von Preysing and Mr. Reiss. The largest expat communities are from the U.K., Spain, China and the Middle East.
Munich, as a whole, has a large number of Frankfurt Stock Exchange-listed companies as well as a flourishing tech start-up industry.
Large employers include the reinsurance company Munich Re, tech conglomerate Siemens and car manufacturer BMW, as well as Germany’s Microsoft headquarters.
However, most home buyers in Schwabing and Munich are local or from other parts of Germany, Mr. Reiss. “People who perhaps have sold their business and made some money from it typically buy a small pad in the center of the city and a large property on the greener areas outside the city.”
It appeals to people because it is right in the heart of continental Europe and is close to lakes for weekends and summer breaks and the Alps for skiing during the winter, Mr. von Preysing said. Munich was named the most liveable city in the world in 2018 by the lifestyle magazine Monocle.
Many famous creative people have lived on Ainmillerstrasse just off Leopoldstrasse. Wassily Kandinsky lived there from 1908 to 1914 during which time he co-founded the famous Blue Rider Group. The painter Gabriel Munter lived with him for a period of time. The poet and novelist Rainer Maria Rilke was living on the street at the same time and Paul Klee was a resident on the street from 1906 to 1921.
Today’s famous residents are high earners who like to keep a low profile. Estate agent are unwilling to give specific names but say footballers who play for the Bayern Munich sports club as well as artists and actors reside in the neighborhood.
Germany’s richest woman and BMW heiress Susanne Klatten is said to own a home in the neighborhood.
The market in Schwabing is still strong due to a never-changing imbalance of demand and supply, Mr. von Preysing explained.
“Prices have doubled in the last decade and Munich’s geographical and strong economical position in Europe still makes it a hotspot for Germans and a wide range of international clients,” he said.
If the economy in Germany stays strong, Munich and its prime areas, such as Schwabing, will continue to be an attractive place to live, Mr. Reiss said. “Prices could rise by 10% or more in the next two to three years,” he said. “Prices have been rising by 10% to 15% every year at the top end of the property market for the past few years and some commentators believe this trend is set to continue.”
*This article originally incorrectly referred to the neighborhood has Schwabing-West. It is Schwabing. The boundaries have been updated as well.
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