RIWIS Online - City Report Flensburg
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Brief Market Abstract Flensburg
as at: Q1/2024

Flensburg is the northernmost city in Germany and is located directly on the border with Denmark. It is the third largest city in Schleswig-Holstein after Kiel and Lübeck. On the north-south axis, Flensburg is connected to Kiel and Hamburg to the south and Aarhus (Denmark) to the north via motorway 7.

Flensburg harbour, which was also an important naval base until the 1990s, is gradually declining in importance as an industrial port, which is why the eastern side of the harbour is to be developed into a mixed-use urban quarter. However, it is gaining relevance as a tourist and leisure harbour. Flensburg is also home to the Mürwik naval school, which is home to the Gorch Fock sailing training ship, among others.


Flensburg, a medium-sized city with around 92,600 inhabitants, is characterised by dynamic population development. The youth dependency ratio is 29% and the old-age dependency ratio is 32%, which indicates a balanced age structure. Despite a negative natural population balance, Flensburg has recorded population growth of 4.6% in the last five years, mainly due to a positive migration balance. Further growth of 2.5% is expected by 2035, which puts the city in an above-average position compared to other RIWIS cities. The household structure shows around 50,500 households, with single-person households accounting for 42.4%. The number of households has grown by around 4.3% in the last five years and is expected to increase by a further 6.8% by 2035, which is also above the average for RIWIS cities. The proportion of students is 10.4%, which emphasises the youthful and dynamic atmosphere of the city.


Around 46,500 people are employed in Flensburg and subject to social insurance contributions. This makes the regional centre of Flensburg one of the smaller labour markets among the RIWIS cities. Over the last five years, the city has recorded employment growth of 5.5%, although the number of employees is forecast to fall by -4.4% by 2035. More than half of employees, namely 53%, work in large companies with over 100 employees. The dominant sectors in Flensburg are manufacturing and construction (14%), wholesale and retail (14%), public administration (11%) and health and social services (20%). With a positive commuter balance of around 11,100 people, Flensburg demonstrates its high attractiveness as a place to work. The catchment area is regionally concentrated on the immediate neighbouring municipalities. The unemployment rate was 7.9% in 2023 and has fallen by -0.4 percentage points in the last five years. This means that the unemployment rate is still well above the national average despite the downward trend.


Flensburg is not part of any nationally relevant logistics market region and does not have a dedicated logistics infrastructure. The average rent for production warehouses in Flensburg is EUR 3.4/sqm and the prime rent is EUR 4.4/sqm, while service space commands a prime rent of EUR 4.7/sqm and a prime rent of EUR 5.4/sqm. The average yield for logistics properties in Flensburg is quoted at 7.7 per cent and the prime yield at 6.4 per cent. Existing properties that were completed more than 3 years ago are mostly regionally orientated, with Denmark often playing an important role as a destination.


In Flensburg, the stock of office space (MF-GiF) comprises around 410,000 square metres. Due to the strong presence of administration and service providers, the demand for office space is guaranteed. The prime locations for office space are in the city centre and the outskirts of the city as well as in the northern district of Sonwik, the Rude district and the technology and business centre in Südstadt. On average, around 3,280 square metres of new office space has been completed each year over the last five years, while annual take-up over the same period was around 6,400 square metres. In 2023, the city recorded a comparatively low vacancy rate of 2.0%, making it one of the ten D-cities with the lowest values. In total, around 19,500 people work in office jobs in Flensburg, which corresponds to an average office space of around 18 square metres per employee. The average rent for office space in the city centre was around EUR 8/sqm in 2023, while the yield in central locations was 6.1%.