The German Government adheres to a policy of national treatment, which considers property
owned by foreigners as fully protected under German law. In Germany, mortgages are given
based on recognized and reliable collateral. Secured interests in property, both chattel and real,
are recognized and enforced. According to the World Bank’s Doing Business Report it takes 40
days to register property in Germany.
The shadow economy (i.e. All illegal economic activities, including moonlighting) is estimated to
range at around 13% of total economic output or €344 billion. The Ministry of Finance estimates
that the sector harms the economy every year by around €70billion.
The German Land Register Act dates back to 1897 and has last been amended in 2013. The land
register mirrors private real property rights provides information on the legal relationship of the
estate. It documents the owner, rights of third persons, liabilities and restrictions and how these
rights relate to each other. Any change in property of real estate must be registered in the land
registry to make the contract effective. Land titles are now maintained in an electronic database
and can be consulted by persons with a legitimate interest.