Culture, History, and Business
While the actual date of Copenhagen’s founding is unclear, historians believe it was settled towards the end of the Viking Age sometime during the 11th century. During the Middle Ages the town grew considerably, largely thanks to the fishing industry. In 1397, Denmark, Sweden and Norway united to form the Kalmar Union, with Copenhagen becoming the capital of the union soon after. Over the next few centuries, the city became an important trading port as it controlled access between the Baltic and the North Sea. In the 18th century, it suffered from plagues and fires, although it rebuilt to become one of the most beautiful capitals in Europe. During the 19th century, Copenhagen became the center of the Danish Golden Age, a period of intense cultural activity that resulted in some of the country’s best literature, painting and architecture.
Today, Copenhagen stands out for its internationally famous design and urban planning, which has resulted in much of the city being pedestrianized and transit oriented. It is the financial and business center of Denmark with a primarily service-focused economy. Most of Denmark’s largest financial institutions are headquartered in Copenhagen, while it also boasts thriving technology, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and shipping sectors. Although Copenhagen is an expensive city, it has an excellent social safety net and an extremely high quality of life.
For real estate investors, Copenhagen is appealing for a number of reasons. Its tourism sector is growing faster than in most European cities and it has numerous landmarks and attractions. Tourism from China in particular has exploded in recent years. Short-term rental properties have the potential to provide excellent yields, not just in the city center but in other up-and-coming districts.
Furthermore, transaction and financing fees in Denmark are surprisingly low, which can help keep real estate costs down in a city that is otherwise very expensive. Because of the strength of the Danish economy, investors can feel reassured that their investment is in one of the most stable countries in Europe.