North Rhine-Westphalia is the investment location of choice for small and large companies operating internationally.
This means that NRW has a particularly strong local economy with many jobs.
Find out below why it is also financially interesting for private individuals to invest in North Rhine-Westphalia.
More specifically, investing in residential property to let offers unique opportunities, especially if you are also looking for the highest capital gains potential.
At the bottom of this page you will also find an overview of German investment properties for sale with passive care formula and guarantees.
Table of Contents
- 1 North Rhine-Westphalia: Economic centre of Europe
- 2 Facts and figures about NRW
- 3 The economy in North Rhine-Westphalia is flourishing and growing rapidly
- 4 Europe’s most important purchasing and sales market
- 5 North Rhine-Westphalia: Logistics gateway to Europe
- 6 Main investment location in Germany
- 7 Frequently asked questions about investment properties in North Rhine-Westphalia
- 7.1 What is the capital gains potential of investment property in NRW?
- 7.2 Why invest in North Rhine-Westphalia?
- 7.3 Where are the best places in NRW to invest in real estate?
- 7.4 How to manage and let investment properties in NRW?
- 7.5 Who can help find suitable investment properties in North Rhine-Westphalia?
- 7.6 Can I borrow in Germany to buy investment property?
- 7.7 What return can I expect from a buy-to-let property in North Rhine-Westphalia?
- 7.8 When is the best time to invest in North Rhine-Westphalia?
- 7.9 Which investment horizon is good for investment properties in NRW?
- 8 German investment properties for sale: Overview
- 9 Other interesting information about Germany
North Rhine-Westphalia: Economic centre of Europe
North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) is located in the centre of Europe and borders the Netherlands and Belgium.
It is the most populous and also the most densely populated of Germany’s 16 states.
There are 17.9 million people living in an area of 34 112 square kilometres.
With 526 inhabitants per square kilometre, the state is more densely populated than Japan or the Netherlands.
The largest cities are Cologne, Düsseldorf, Dortmund, Essen and Duisburg.
The most important metropolitan areas are the metropolitan Ruhr area with 5.1 million inhabitants and the area along the Rhine with more than 3 million inhabitants.
More than 160 million people live within a radius of 500 kilometres of Düsseldorf, the state capital.
This represents almost a third of all EU consumers.
From no other place in Europe can so many people with such great purchasing power be reached within such short distances as from NRW.
The state pools as much as 21.5 per cent of Germany’s purchasing power.
The inhabitants of NRW alone spend €372 billion on private consumption every year.
Facts and figures about NRW
General figures on North Rhine-Westphalia
- Total area of NRW: 34 112 km²
- Surface area of NRW in relation to the surface area of Germany: 9,5%
- Number of inhabitants of North Rhine-Westphalia: 17.9 million
- Number of inhabitants of NRW compared to the total number of inhabitants in Germany: 21,6%
- Population density: 526 inhabitants per square kilometre
Macro-economic figures for NRW
- Number of people employed in NRW: 9.6 million people
- Number of people employed in NRW compared to the total number of people employed in Germany: 21,5%
- Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of NRW: EUR 711.4 billion
- GDP of NRW compared to GDP of Germany: 20,7%
- Gross Domestic Product per capita: EUR 39 678
- Private consumption of NRW per year: EUR 372 billion
- Private consumption of NRW compared to total private consumption in Germany: 21,8%
- North Rhine-Westphalia’s exports on an annual basis: EUR 193.7 billion
- Exports of NRW compared to total exports of Germany: 14,6%
- Imports of North Rhine-Westphalia on an annual basis: EUR 245.5 billion
- Imports of NRW compared to total imports of Germany: 22,1%
- Foreign direct investment (FDI) in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW): EUR 162.5 billion
- FDI in NRW compared to total FDI in Germany: 21,2%
The economy in North Rhine-Westphalia is flourishing and growing rapidly
The economy in North Rhine-Westphalia is booming. According to numerous economic indicators, this German state is one of the world’s economic leaders.
Every year, NRW generates a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of more than EUR 700 billion, which corresponds to more than 20 per cent of the GDP of Germany as a whole.
As a result, NRW clearly outstrips all the other Länder in Germany.
GDP per capita is EUR 39 678 and GDP per worker averages EUR 73 832.
The state is also making an impression at the international level: NRW alone generates 4.4 percent of European GDP (EU-28) and is thus one of the most important economic regions in Europe.
In the international rankings, the state is even higher in terms of annual GDP than European countries such as Sweden, Poland and Belgium.
Industrial engine of Germany
North Rhine-Westphalia is Germany’s industrial engine and is definitely the driving force behind the German economy as a whole.
Industrial companies in North Rhine-Westphalia generated around EUR 352 billion in 2019.
Just under 20 of the 50 most profitable German companies have their headquarters in NRW.
Examples include Bayer, Bertelsmann, Deutsche Post, Deutsche Telekom, E.ON, Henkel, Metro, Rewe, RWE and Thyssenkrupp.
Thanks to the Ruhr metropolis and South Westphalia, the state is home to the strongest industrial regions in Europe.
NRW’s industry accounts for more than 27 per cent of the state’s gross value added.
Moreover, the industry in NRW accounts for more than 18.5% of the gross value added in Germany.
Home of world market leaders
One in four German world market leaders comes from NRW.
These include not only large, world-famous industrial companies, but also dozens of smaller hidden champions from all sectors of the economy who are leaders in their fields.
More than 710 000 small and medium-sized enterprises are the economic backbone of the state of NRW.
This broad economic base produces top performance.
Many of these companies are attractive cooperation partners for international investors in the development of products and production processes, in services or in research.
The economy of North Rhine-Westphalia is also successful in the immediate vicinity of industry.
Nowhere else in Germany do business-related service providers such as consultancies, IT or R&D services, recruitment agencies and so on make such a significant contribution to innovation and value creation as in NRW.
Europe’s most important purchasing and sales market
Foreign trade in NRW is constantly increasing and is increasingly becoming an engine for growth and employment in the state
The economy of NRW has close trade relations with the whole world.
The state’s total trade volume amounts to no less than EUR 439 billion on an annual basis. No other German state can match this.
Just under 15 per cent of all German exports are produced in NRW.
And of all German imports, as much as 22 per cent are destined for NRW, Germany’s most populous state.
In 2019, the value of NRW’s exports was €193.7 billion and its imports €245.5 billion.
NRW is also an attractive location for retail groups.
No fewer than 13 of the 40 highest-earning retail companies in Germany are located here, including well-known names such as Aldi, C&A, Deichmann, Metro, Rewe, Galeria Karstadt-Kaufhof and Tengelmann.
North Rhine-Westphalia: Logistics gateway to Europe
North Rhine-Westphalia is blessed with a fantastic transport infrastructure.
This German state is Germany’s number one in terms of logistics and transport.
In almost no other region in Europe can (logistics) companies find better conditions for transport and logistics.
Some of NRW’s strengths at a glance:
Excellent road network in North Rhine-Westphalia
NRW is equipped with a very well connected network of roads.
Specifically, more than 2,200 kilometres of motorways were built in NRW.
In addition, there are some 18 000 kilometres of ordinary roads (a combination of federal and state roads).
The road network of North Rhine-Westphalia is also well connected to the European motorway network.
Excellent for passenger and cargo air transport
NRW is particularly well served by air.
Specifically, there are no fewer than six airports in NRW from which you can fly to the whole world!
The two largest and best-known airports in North Rhine-Westphalia are Düsseldorf Airport and Cologne Bonn Airport.
- Düsseldorf Airport is the third largest passenger airport in Germany. It offers connections to nearly 200 destinations worldwide.
- Cologne Bonn Airport is the third largest airport in Germany for cargo and goods.
Easily accessible by water
NRW is in a very interesting location in terms of waterborne freight transport.
More specifically, North Rhine-Westphalia is located at the crossroads of several major important European waterways.
The territory of NRW is blessed by Mother Nature with more than 700 kilometres of waterways, which connect NRW with the largest European seaports.
NRW has the largest inland port in the world, Duisburg to be precise.
North Rhine-Westphalia is the most important inland port location in Germany.
There are no fewer than 120 ports in NRW, with a freight handling volume of just under 120 million tonnes a year.
Good rail connections for passenger and freight traffic
In North Rhine-Westphalia you will find the best railway network in the whole of Germany.
In terms of both goods and freight traffic, this state is equipped with the best railway network in Germany.
There are more than 6 000 kilometres of tracks in NRW and it is also an important hub in the international high-speed rail network.
An example of this is Cologne in the territory of NRW. In Cologne you will find one of the most important railway hubs in Europe.
Interesting fact: The New Silk Road (better known as the Silk Road) also runs through NRW, a goods train connection that is becoming more and more important.
It connects China (Chongqing) with Germany (Duisburg) across the country.
North Rhine-Westphalia: Market leader in logistics
The state of NRW has an enormous amount of knowledge and experience in logistics services.
For example, the World Bank has repeatedly crowned Germany the best logistics player in the world.
Naturally, it is the state of North Rhine-Westphalia that plays a crucial role in this.
Almost 25 000 companies are active in the logistics sector. Together, they provide almost 375 000 jobs and an annual turnover of almost EUR 70 billion.
The central location, excellent infrastructure and large market volume in and around NRW attract many international investors.
Of the top 25 largest logistics companies in Germany, nine have their headquarters in NRW.
Examples include Deutsche Post DHL, FedEx, Fiege, Rhenus and UPS Deutschland.
Interesting fact: Around 25% of all logistics centres in Germany are in NRW.
Some examples are the distribution centres of global players such as Amazon, Esprit, TKMaxx and Zalando.
Main investment location in Germany
North Rhine-Westphalia is Germany’s leading investment location.
It is the centre for renowned foreign companies serving the German and European markets.
Thousands of foreign companies present
NRW has been becoming more attractive to foreign investors for years.
More than 20 000 foreign companies from the most important investor countries control their German or European activities from NRW.
This amounts to one fifth of all multinational companies in Germany.
These include global companies such as 3M, BP, Ericsson, Ford, Fujifilm, Huawei, QVC, Toyota, UPS and Vodafone.
Foreign companies have developed into a major employer in the state and employ about one million people.
North Rhine-Westphalia is international and diverse
Besides the many convincing economic and infrastructure-related arguments in favour of North Rhine-Westphalia, NRW stands out for its international atmosphere and hospitality.
Cultural diversity is a characteristic feature of NRW.
With foreign banks, lawyers, schools, supermarkets and cultural centres, North Rhine-Westphalia offers a diverse international infrastructure that is constantly evolving.
These favourable conditions make foreign investors feel at home in NRW, both culturally and economically.
Main sectors in NRW
- Automotive sector (Daimler, Ford-Werke, HELLA, Benteler, etc.)
- Chemical industry (Bayer, Henkel, Covestro, Altana, etc.)
- Energy sector (E.ON, RWE, Vaillant, Winergy, etc.)
- Healthcare (3M, Janssen-Cilag, Medtronic, Medifa, Sarstedt, etc.)
- Information and communication technology (Atos, Deutsche Telekom, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Toshiba, Vodafone, etc.)
- Plastics and plastic sector (Covestro, Coko-Werke, LANXESS, ENGEL, Evonik Industries, etc.)
- Logistics sector (Amazon, DHL, FedEx, Fiege, Esprit, Kühne + Nagel, Schenker, TNT, UPS, etc.)
- Mechanical engineering (Claas, GEA, SMS, Phoenix Contact, DMG Mori, etc.)
- Future technologies such as nanotechnology (Aixtron, AMO, AUNDE, Boehringer Ingelheim microParts, ELMOS, Hydro Aluminium, LIMO, NanoFocus, Saertex, etc.)
Frequently asked questions about investment properties in North Rhine-Westphalia
What is the capital gains potential of investment property in NRW?
Nobody has a crystal ball to make predictions.
That said, historical value increases of +/- 5% per year can be noted in certain areas of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Of course, the past is no guarantee for the future.
But in view of NRW’s economic growth, you can safely speak of attractive opportunities in terms of capital gains potential.
Why invest in North Rhine-Westphalia?
As Germany’s leading business location, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia is in great demand among foreign investors worldwide.
It is also home to many companies with global growth potential.
NRW is Germany’s number one investment location and the location for companies and entrepreneurs with global growth plans.
Smart private investors can invest in high-yielding residential buy-to-let property.
Investment property in North Rhine-Westphalia offers attractive and considerable capital gains potential due to the state’s fast-growing economy.
Where are the best places in NRW to invest in real estate?
Always try to opt for residential property in B and C cities.
There you will find the best value for money and the highest upward potential for value growth.
Are you hesitating about buying a second home as an investment? Regarding the destination and location?
Then don’t hesitate and get some more inspiration from the offers at the bottom of this page.
How to manage and let investment properties in NRW?
Do you live abroad?
Then being your own landlord [AVAILABLE SOON] may not be the best option for German investment property in NRW.
Fortunately, you also have the option of passively investing in rental property.
Specifically, you can, for example, appoint a rental agent to take care of everything for you.
Or you can go a step further and choose a premium package and guidance.
In practice, this means that you, as the owner, can fall back on a contractually stipulated rental guarantee. (See the offers below for some options).
In other words, you are sure to receive your monthly rental income. The developer is in charge of management, maintenance, collection of funds and so on.
Who can help find suitable investment properties in North Rhine-Westphalia?
You can contact various players to find suitable German investment properties.
Try to deal with a reliable party that does not sell German junk property.
Focus on quality and a worry-free management package (check the offers below for some worry-free investment formulas in German rental property).
Can I borrow in Germany to buy investment property?
Do you live and work abroad? Then you probably think that you will have to look abroad for real estate finance to complete the purchase of German property.
But that is a mistake… You can also take out a loan in Germany if you are going to invest in sustainable and high-quality real estate.
There are several banks willing to establish a mortgage on German investment property, thus enabling you to borrow in Germany.
Interest rates and maturities are in line with the market and competitive.
What return can I expect from a buy-to-let property in North Rhine-Westphalia?
The return on investment of real estate [AVAILABLE SOON] depends on various factors.
To get a better idea of what kind of return you can expect, take a look at the range of investment properties in Germany .
Tip: If you finance partly with a loan, you can maximise the return on your equity thanks to the financial leverage effect.
When is the best time to invest in North Rhine-Westphalia?
North Rhine-Westphalia is in full bloom and growth. Now is the time to invest.
There is no point in hesitating or doubting. Do you have savings in the bank that yield almost nothing?
And are you aware that this money is losing value every year due to the unprecedented rate at which money is printed?
Then a German real estate investment can be an interesting option for protecting your assets and making them profitable.
Which investment horizon is good for investment properties in NRW?
A good investment horizon is different for everyone.
But generally speaking, an investment horizon of 10 years is a good guideline for investing in German rental property.
You have to let time do the work in terms of value growth in order to generate significant added value.
In North Rhine-Westphalia, private investors can expect a unique combination of high rental yields and high potential gains from a future sale.
German investment properties for sale: Overview
Single-family houses (flats) for rent
- Real estate in Germany as an investment in Essen with stewardship and without worries for you as an owner – German real estate investment from 33 000 Euros own funds, in full ownership, with rental guarantee
- German real estate as an investment including trustee and professional management with attractive and passive returns through three unique guarantees. Passive real estate investment from EUR 41,000 own resources
- Investment properties in Germany for private letting with rental guarantee [AVAILABLE SOON] and with guaranteed annual return
- Buy German property [AVAILABLE SOON] at a low entry threshold and with rental guarantee – With care formula to be able to invest passively in real estate [AVAILABLE SOON]
- Buy a flat in Germany as a carefree buy-to-let property for passive rental income, with free trustee and letting agent
- Real estate in Germany [AVAILABLE SOON] – At an interesting location in Radevormwald
- Purchase and rent out your flat in Germany [AVAILABLE SOON] – with contractually guaranteed rental return and all-in rental service [AVAILABLE SOON], hands-free and passive, guaranteed by notary
German investment properties with various rental units
- Rental property for sale in NRW [AVAILABLE SOON] in Hagen (North Rhine-Westphalia); property in good condition (has been renovated), comes with contractually guaranteed rental income + all-in service package [AVAILABLE SOON] – Carefree investment, from a minimum equity stake of 385,000 euros
- Apartment building for sale in Germany [AVAILABLE SOON] as an investment with guaranteed return – 10 rental units in the building for rent (9 for private rent, 1 for commercial rental)
- Purchase investment property in Germany [AVAILABLE SOON]: Building with 4 rental units for sale with guaranteed rental income
- Buy apartment block in Germany – Property with 12 rental units for sale for rent + guaranteed return thanks to a rental guarantee via notarial deed
Other interesting information about Germany
- Purchase process of German real estate [AVAILABLE SOON] with a chronological overview of the steps for private investors
- German real estate for extra returns and less risk – Find out how you can still achieve solid returns with low risk
- Buying property in Germany in North Rhine-Westphalia: Attractive location for property investment
- Invest in German property [AVAILABLE SOON]: Taxation, costs and taxes of German property at a glance
- German investment properties with advantages as an alternative real estate investment – Analysis of plus points and answers to frequently asked questions
- German junk property is definitely to be avoided when investing in real estate in Germany: Tips and advice on conducting a thorough due diligence
- Investing in German real estate: An investment with growth, stability and reliability as its main assets
- Build a retirement income yourself with real estate in Germany in some growth regions with capital gains potential+ overview of interesting buy-to-let properties with secure income
- Germany [AVAILABLE SOON] as the mainstay of Europe and the safe haven for your capital