Why move to Leipzig?
If the thought of moving to the central German city has crossed your mind, but you’re not entirely convinced and require a little more confirmation that it could be the right decision for you, then read on. In this article, we highlight why life in the Saxon metropolis could be a wise choice for you. We also explore the different neighbourhoods, so you know what neighbourhood is right for you when searching for an apartment.
Leipzig is a great place to live. Here's why:
1. It's like good ol’ Berlin: You have probably heard people say that Leipzig is the 'new Berlin'. Though there is some truth to this comparison, this (somewhat) unwelcome 'new Berlin' tag is driven primarily by 2 factors: their close proximity and history, and the fact that the cost of living in the two cities. While both have fascinating histories, we’re most excited about the low cost of living that both cities offer. Although Berlin is still an affordable city in which to live compared to Germany's other heavily populated cities, it has undergone so called ‘hyper-gentrification’ over the last decade, and prices are no longer as low as they once were. Leipzig continues to be an incredibly affordable option, even compared to Berlin, as it hasn't undergone the same level of gentrification just yet. The Saxon city is not the 'new Berlin' as people say, but perhaps more like Berlin 'back in the day’.
2. Career growth is definitely possible: When looking at living costs, it is important to keep in mind that salaries in Leipzig are not as high as in larger cities. That being said, the business market here is booming right now and offers a variety of job opportunities. The city is known in Germany for its automotive industry, but has also experienced growing and thriving startup, art and tech scenes, which have resulted in attracting a wave of younger and tech minded workforce. Some of the biggest and most notable employers in the area include BMW, Porsche, Amazon and DHL, while there are also over 200 startups currently operating in the city. Real estate companies are also notable employers in the city, not to mention tech companies such as Nextbike and Trivago, which have helped create opportunities for tech enthusiasts.
3. Your (future) children will love it: When looking for locations to settle down and purchase a property, it's always worth asking the question – is the city family-friendly? Would I want my children to grow up there? Does this city have enough of the amenities my children will need? The good news is that Leipzig has all the public support needed to make family life easy, fun, and affordable. There are plenty of reputable schools, which comprise of childcare centres and bilingual schools and kindergartens. Green spaces are in abundance, Clara Zetkin Park being the largest and most sought-after gem. There are also hundreds of leisure activities for kids and adults alike, including the city zoo, museums and sports clubs.
4. You’ll want to take your education further: The Saxon metropolis has a buzzing student habitat and is home to the renowned University of Leipzig. The University of Leipzig has an impressive list of former students, such as Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, Novelist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Not a bad list of alumni at all. Apart from the University of Leipzig, there are also other distinguished institutions such as the Academy of Fine Arts, HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management, and Leipzig University of Applied Sciences. Plenty of great options to further your educational journey.
5. The central connection: A big benefit of moving to Leipzig is its location and transport infrastructure. The city is very well connected by road, rail, and air. It boasts an international airport, the Leipzig/Halle Airport, and is just a short drive away from some exciting cities you’ll enjoy visiting such as Berlin, Dresden and Prague. While in the city, you can use Leipzig's trains, trams and buses, which are cheap to use. Or, as it's a smaller city, it is just as quick and easy to get around by bike or foot.
6. The city is a feast for the eyes: Leipzig stands out from many other cities in Germany not just because of its low cost of living or extensive history, but also the fact that it is one of the greenest cities in the country. When researching for where to live in Leipzig, you might have seen that there are a lot of parks within the city. It can take just minutes to reach one of the many parks to enjoy a long warm summer afternoon. What you might not know is that there’s a lake district nearby, plus old industrial canals that make the city an attractive haven for those who love water sports and canoeing. You will also enjoy over 20 natural swimming pools spread across the city, or grab your bike and go for a ride along one of the dense cycling paths lining the waterways.
7. Art, music and festivals galore: In the years immediately following reunification, Leipzig suffered a long period of stagnation, and thousands of people left the city. Thankfully, since then the Saxon city has been transformed into a cool and creative city, thanks to an inventive and entrepreneurial spirit. This spirit has been converting abandoned buildings into affordable homes, startup meccas and art and music venues, helping to create a cool vibe across the city. An excellent example of this is the Baumwollspinnerei, which used to be a thriving cotton mill but was abandoned and quickly forgotten. Now, this 10-hectare site boasts art galleries, studios and apartments, and is once again full of life. Other iconic venues across the city and region host large festivals, such as the Wave Gothic Festival and the Highfield Festival. Leipzig's famous nightclub Institut für Zukunft won the prestigious Venue of the Year award in 2018.
8. Small but mighty with heaps of character & history: This is a city small in size but mighty in character and typically German. In your quest to buy real estate in Leipzig, the unfinished charm of this area will doubtlessly influence your decision to invest. It's easy to get around, you're never far away from quality, affordable restaurants or cafés, and the city’s apartments have an abundance of character and history. Altbau apartments, in particular, come with history, charm and personality. Speaking of character, a lesser-known fact is that Leipzig played a central role in the eventual fall of the Berlin Wall. Peaceful demonstrations held at the Nikolaikirche in the centre of Leipzig on the 9th October 1989 snowballed into wider marches throughout East Germany, thanks to the media attention the rallies drew. Not long after these protests, due to pressure from across Eastern Germany, the Berlin Wall fell. The Nikolaikirche is now a place of significance for many Germans. Who wouldn't want to live in an area surrounded by so much history?
Final thoughts: If you need any more convincing, then you should know that Leipzig was named the 'most liveable city in Germany' just a few years ago. It continues to show growth and maturity and is now ranked as one of the fastest-growing cities in Germany. This gem in eastern Germany has attracted thousands of young creatives for the past few years, and it is said that 1 in 10 new residents that moves to the city is coming from Berlin. Change is happening fast, so what are you waiting for? Now really could be the best time to move to Leipzig.
Let’s talk neighbourhoods
As we’ve discussed, Leipzig is a hotbed for the cool art scene, as well as offering professional jobs and a booming nightlife. So, with something for everyone, the only question remaining is, what neighbourhood is best for you? Each neighbourhood has its own personality and spirit, so let’s dive into the details.
Leipzig-Mitte: The city centre is the historical centre of Leipzig and hosts the old town, which is packed with traditional restaurants, bars, cafés, museums, and a classic shopping arcade. Leipzig University is also situated here, as well as entertainment venues such as the Red Bull Arena, plus two of Leipzig’s biggest and prettiest parks, Clara Zetkin Park and Johannapark. Leipzig Mitte has the highest population density and is one of the more expensive areas to buy an apartment, but living here gives its residents the best of everything that Leipzig has to offer.
Leipzig-Nord: The northern neighbourhood of Leipzig has traditionally been where the wealthier inhabitants resided. This neighbourhood stretches from the city centre north through suburbs and beyond. Bourgeois villas and townhouses dominate the streets here, and it is predominantly a quiet, peaceful area, perfect for families and those seeking a calmer, more tranquil life.
Leipzig-Südwest: Leipzig-Südwest is the largest neighbourhood in the city and brings with it the creative flair that has attracted the cool and hip. Two of the hottest areas, Plagwitz and Schleussig, are situated in the Südwest. Plagwitz is home to the iconic Baumwollspinnerei as well as artist’s studios, galleries, trendy bars and chic restaurants. Schleussig offers a more chilled neighbourhood feel that is well catered for families with plenty of open green space yet is within easy reach of the coolness of Plagwitz.
Leipzig-Süd: Often described as edgy and alternative, the south of the city is quirky and colourful and is packed with bar-lined streets, filled with students and people of all types. Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse (known as KarLi) is the epicentre of Leipzig-Süd. On warm summer evenings KarLi will be swarming with activity from restaurant terraces and bars, with people enjoying a meal and a drink outside. The streets running off KarLi provide quieter residential spots for people to live, while still offering a variety of shops and cafes.
Let’s talk money
Buying property is always a big decision, as it’s a lot of cash to part with, so it’s sensible to have an eye on the future and the financial benefit you could gain from your new property. With all investments there comes risk, due to factors largely outside of our control, such as local and national economic performance. However, property has historically been a good and safe investment, and has provided decent returns, particularly over longer time spans. If you pick your location smartly, you could maximise the long-term returns on your investment.
With this in mind, we have some promising figures for you. As mentioned, property prices in Leipzig are amongst the lowest in Germany and other European markets yet, like in most other markets, prices have been rising over last decade. From 2009–2017, the Leipzig property market saw an increase of 8% per annum. Coupled with a lower entry price, this points to a smart investment choice in the long term. As of 2021, the average property price in Leipzig was €2300 per/sqm outside the city centre, and around €3600 per/sqm within the city centre. This compares to €3800 in Berlin, €7250 in Munich, €5300 in Frankfurt, €4390 in Hamburg and €3660 in Dusseldorf.
As well as increasing property prices, Leipzig is leading the way for population growth (c.13% growth between 2011-2018; total population could hit 600,000 in the near future), plus growing employment rates and rising salaries. The unemployment rate fell to 8.3% in December 2020 from 22% in 2005. These indicators point to a city on the rise, especially when you consider the population is, unlike most other cities in Germany, actually growing younger. Now could be the perfect time to make your move and buy a home in Leipzig. Take a look at our latest apartments for sale in Leipzig now.