pbbIX decline slows down – index possibly bottoming out

The pbbIX real estate index continued its decline during the first quarter of 2024, at -2.01 points hitting the lowest level since the first quarter of 2009. However, the decline lost some of its momentum, which could indicate that office property mar-kets are starting to bottom out.

The most recent report is available here

pbbIX – The pbb office property index

How pbbIX works

Real estate markets do not develop continuously and without setbacks, but are characterised by cyclical fluctuations. The office property index pbbIX measures these cyclical fluctuations and thus provides real estate investors and lenders with reliable information on the current office property market situation in Germany.

pbbIX is available for the seven most important German office markets (Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Stuttgart) including their respective catchment areas, as well as an aggregated index for the top seven markets.

Cyclical fluctuations are driven, on the one hand, by macroeconomic developments – and on the other hand, by the development of the investment and rental markets. pbbIX is the only indicator that takes all three factors into account: it also uses verifiable statistical data, processing these in an established method of economic cycle analysis.

Since the third quarter 2018 the pbbIX index is calculated and published on a quarterly basis. 

How to interpret pbbIX correctly
  • The zero line corresponds to the long-term trend. 
  • If the pbbIX is quoted above the zero line, the office property market is in a better state than its long-term average – and vice versa.
  • The directional impact of the three components (macro-economic development, rental market and investment market) on the composite indicator is colour-coded: green indicates a positive, black a negative and grey a neutral impact.
Index history

Looking at the performance of the German office property market over the past two decades, a permanent change between good and bad times is obvious. For instance, the dot-com boom around the millennium triggered very strong demand for new office space. Shortly afterwards, strong new construction activity – driven by this trend – led to a pronounced correction phase, when falling rents and rising vacancies led to significant price losses and impairments. 

The subsequent phase was characterised by strong interest from international investors. From 2004 onwards, the German office property market saw an unprecedented buying spree of yield-driven investors, which only came to an abrupt end in 2009 in the wake of the financial markets crisis. The pbbIX hit its low at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 (Q4 2008: -2.31; Q1 2009: -2.21). 

The big 7 markets for office properties in Germany have seen an extraordinarily long uptrend since mid 2022, supported by both the rental and the investment market. The pbbIX Germany index reached its peak of 1.30 points in the third quarter of 2016.


Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG (pbb) is the sponsor of this index. Solely vdpResearch GmbH, Berlin, is responsible for its contents.

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Data and information contained are based on sources and methodical approaches which vdpResearch GmbH considers to be reliable. However, vdpResearch GmbH cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. Any opinions expressed reflect the current views of vdpResearch GmbH. However, no assurance can be given with regard to the content of such opinions or forecasts.