With interest rates low and stocks considered a risky bet, German households are placing ever more of their hopes in gold.

Private individuals hold 8,918 tonnes of the rare metal in total, up 246 tonnes from 2016, said researchers at the Steinbeis Research Centre for Financial Services, who conducted the research for Germany's Reisebank and based the estimate on surveys with 2,000 households.

Some 4,928 tonnes were held in gold bars and coins and the rest in jewellery.

Nearly three quarters of all Germans said they held gold, either in jewellery, coins or investment vehicles.

According to the survey, every German over the age of 18 has on average 58 grams of gold jewelery and 71 grams of gold in the form of bars or coins.

Of those who have bought gold over the past few years, more than three-quarters of them want to do so in the future. And only 7.8 percent of those who own something from the precious metal are thinking of selling.

German stock exchange operator Deutsche Boerse has also reported record investments in gold, with nearly 181.5 tonnes sitting in their vaults at the end of 2018.

Put together with the German central bank's gold reserves, which stood at 3,370 tonnes at the end of last year, Germany holds about 6.5 per cent of worldwide gold reserves, worth 458 billion euros ($A722 billion) at the start of April.