Residential is the common international term for residential property as a property investment class and type of use. Properties are differentiated according to different types of use. In property industry literature, the main types of use besides residential are commercial properties, industrial properties and special-purpose properties. Each type of property use forms a separate sub-market within the property market of a given region. In this context, residential properties are those in which the main function is housing, regardless of whether the property is inhabited by the owner itself or by a tenant. There are other ways to distinguish types of residential property. They are usually broken down according to the number of housing units. The basic classes are detached and semi-detached houses, terraced houses and apartment buildings (owner-occupied and rented apartments). There are also special forms of residential properties such as holiday homes or flats, villas, farmhouses, senior residences, etc. If there are more than 20 residential units in a complex, this is referred to as a residential estate.1
Residential properties satisfy the need for housing and thus have extremely important economic significance. The high economic and social relevance has always led to strong political influence. No other property sub-market is influenced by governmental instruments as much as the residential property market. This often leads to the use of the terms residential property and non-residential property in property industry practice. For many years residential has been experiencing a surge in popularity in Germany in particular as a safe and stable investment class, hence its significance in the asset allocation of international property investors is also on the rise.