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Introduction

Germany is located in central Europe and has borders with Belgium, Netherlands, France and Luxembourg and in the West, Denmark to the north, Switzerland and Austria to the south and the Czech Republic and Poland to the East. There is a mixed cultural population in Germany with large numbers of Italians, Greeks, Turks, and Italians, Spanish and British ex-patriots.

The country has the largest population in the European Union and the third largest economy in the world; however, this does not translate well into the housing market. Germans have a propensity towards renting property as opposed to buying with only 44% owning their own home. There are a number of theories denoting why there is such a stagnation of the property market, such as an economy in decline, an outdated attitude on behalf of German banks with regards to mortgage lending, a cultural preference for Germans to buy a home for life. That said it is still unusual for such a large and powerful country to have such a weak property market. This is a weakness that many are gambling will not last and property prices will rise to be equivalent to other industrialised European nations.

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