A young professional I know here (mid-30s, legal field) bought a house recently, one of only three students I know that own a house their parents didn’t originally live in. They bought a house 430,000 euros somewhere in one of the better places to live in all of Freiburg. I asked him how much is downpayment was. His English is really good but we were having trouble with the word downpayment. He kept saying Eigenkapital and my cavemannish translation of the German word is “own money’, which definitely works for downpayment. That muthaf*cka said two hundred large. I couldn’t believe it. He put down 200,000 euros for a house that cost 430 large. I had to tell him about people in America getting loans of 300,000 without complete paperwork and no money down! It’s insane. It seriously is going to be blamed on mortgage officers and investment banksters in the end.
It’s things like this that are going to probably make Germany’s recovery from the economic crisis a little less painful because they (as far as I can tell) were not as exposed to all of these bad loans that America’s financial industry is.