Stretching over some 310.7 km², Munich is one of Germany's major cities with a population of more than 1.4 million inhabitants. The capital of the Bavarian (Bayern) region, it is deemed to be the country's second main destination in terms of expatriation after Berlin, and the country's most expensive city. Munich has been attracting young professionals worldwide by offering various job prospects in different fields.
Due to high prices and high demand, finding accommodation in Munich may be more difficult than first anticipated. However, there is something for everyone both in terms of housing and in terms of the different neighbourhoods in the city.
Munich is divided into 25 districts, which, in turn, consist of several neighbourhoods. Each of these neighbourhoods is easily accessible by the public transport network and hosts shops, shopping malls, schools and many other facilities. Munich is also known to be a green city thanks to its nature parks and other recreational spaces.
Munich's city centre (Zentrum) is obviously the busiest part of town within the neighbourhood of Altstadt-Lehel, near Ludwigsvorstadt and Isarvorstadt and Maxvorstadt. These are also known to be tourist areas with large shopping malls and shops, but they equally host big firms and office buildings. Hauptbahnhof, Westend and Theresienwiese, which are in the South of the city centre, have an impressive urban look, just like Sendling and Thalkirchen. Solln is known to be a posh neighbourhood with many modern residential buildings.
As a university town, Munich is an above average home to many young people, of which the majority live in small apartments near Ludwig Maximilian University. This area, as well as Schwabing, are the most popular residential areas in the city. Haidhausen and Glockenbach are close to the centre and are equally popular, with an active nightlife.
Families tend to live near the animal park Hellabrunn in Harlaching or in Nymphenburg. Pasing, Laim, Nymphenburg and Gern are in Eastern Munich. Obermenzing, Northwest Munich Harlaching, Ramersdorf, Trudering and Waldtrudering are also very popular residential neighbourhoods. These are ideal for families looking for modern apartments or a small house with terrace and garden in a peaceful environment.
If you wish to escape from the busy and noisy downtown, you will definitely like Forstenried, Fasangarten, Waldperlach, Obersendling or Perlach, which are peaceful and green neighbourhoods.
Cost of renting in Munich
Be prepared to face fairly expensive rental prices around €13-20 per square metre. In general, you will need an average of €850 per month to rent a single-bedroom apartment and some €1,700 per month to rent a three-bedroom apartment in the centre. Uptown, rent prices may be even higher, depending on the type of accommodation and facilities attached thereto.
In the outskirts, on the other hand, you will need an average of €660 monthly to rent a single-bedroom apartment and some €1,220 per month for a three-bedroom apartment.
Students in Munich can choose among the cheaper accommodation options such as shared flats, student housing, home-stays or studios. Room and flat sharing is very common in Munich. Alternatively, you can choose from a variety of apartments and houses according to your financial means.
Looking for accommodation in Munich
Preparation is everything when it comes to searching for accommodation in Munich. You can start your housing search online right from your home country to get an initial idea of the types of accommodation and specialised real estate websites available, as well as rent prices in general. If you are already in Munich, consider registering with a real estate agency. Word-of-mouth and classified ads in local newspapers may also help.
Tips for finding a flat in Munich:
- Act fast, contact potential landlords quickly and be prepared to accept viewing appointments during work hours. Note, that some estate agents may charge a fee in case you don’t appear at the agreed viewing. You may be part of a crowd when viewing a flat.
- Consider housing cooperatives (Genossenschaften), which may offer reasonable priced housing that is not advertised on ImmoScout. You’ll have to become a member and pay a contribution (of usually the equivalent of a month’s rent as a rental deposit). In return you own shares and have the right to stay for as long as you please.
- Take your search offline and check local newspapers, for example Kurz und Fündig – Many papers publish housing opportunities once a week, mostly on Saturdays.
- Create a profile on your search portals like ImmoScout24. Make sure to add a formal photo. This will help estate agents and flat owners put a face to your request and get you more appointments for flat viewings.
- Dress formally and make a good impression on the landlord. Some people recommend dressing for a job interview. Keywords such as “non smoker”, “academic with permanent contract” or information on your monthly income can be surprisingly helpful for some landlords.
- Prepare a folder with a brief CV, nice picture, the last 3 payslips and SCHUFA information. A tenant self-assessment, a copy of your ID card and where applicable a parent’s guarantee are also helpful.
- Most estate agents will ask you to fill in a tenant self-assessment, which may also act as a brokerage agreement in case you are going through with the contract.
When looking for a beautiful Munich apartment, or even a house to buy, you’ll have to bring a few tricks and a lot of patience. Once the property is found, you can consider yourself lucky – because the quality of life in Munich really is pretty good!
Immobilien Scout 24 www.immobilienscout24.de
Mr Lodge www.mrlodge.com
Wohnungsmarkt 24 wohnungsmarkt24.de
Münchner Merkur merkur.immowelt.de
München.de (see Immobilien) www.muenchen.de
CS Wohnungsagentur www.cs-wohnungsagentur.de