German office market fluctuating between stagnation and recession during second quarter 2020

  • pbbIX index drops further in the second quarter 2020 to 0.09 points
  • Short-term recovery of the office property market questionable despite economic development turning a corner – uncertainty remains

The pbbIX real estate index, which tracks the development on the 7 largest office markets in Germany, fell significantly in the 2nd quarter, from 0.50 to 0.09 index points. This second consecutive drop brings the index close to the zero line, meaning the German office market is on the edge to recession.

As a result of the economic recession in Germany, the market for office space and the office investment market are fluctuating somewhere between stagnation and recession, but have not collapsed. New lettings fell sharply in the 2nd quarter but low vacancy rates and relatively subdued construction activity led to rents remaining stable. Investments in office properties continued to fall in the 2nd quarter but did not plummet as stable rent levels and very low interest rates meant performance was still positive.

Though the economy seems to be turning a corner as we enter the summer quarter, a short-term recovery of the office property market is questionable. Recent increases in the number of COVID 19 infections are causing additional uncertainty. 

In the 2nd quarter, the pbbIX sub indices showed weaker developments for each of the individual markets. Berlin and Munich are currently the best performers, with index levels of 0.26 and 0.13 points respectively, while the office market economy for Cologne is already slightly in recession, with an index level of -0.05 points.

The entire Q2 2020 report is available for download here.


Notes to the editors:

The pbbIX ( index family comprises a composite index, as well as seven sub indices tracking the key German office property markets of Berlin, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt/Main, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart, including their respective catchment areas.

pbbIX describes the development of the office markets. The zero line corresponds to the long-term trend. If the index is above the zero line, the office market is better than the long-term average. From a value of 1.0 points, one speaks of a boom.

The indices, which pbb publishes in cooperation with vdp Research, provide investors and lenders with comprehensive information on the current performance of office properties in Germany.

pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank ( is a specialist lender for commercial real estate finance and public investment finance in Europe and the United States of America.


Media Contact
Walter Allwicher, +49 89 2880-28787, walter.allwicher(at)