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Monday, July 11, 2005

Foreigners Ever Keener to Buy Property in Slovenia

EU citizens are increasingly interested in buying real estate in Slovenia after restrictions were lifted following EU entry nearly one year ago. Some 500 properties have been sold in the first year, according to the Tax Administration, mostly at the seaside and in the northeastern region of Pomurje.

The Ministry of Justice does not think the figures are alarming and said there is no need to invoke the safety clause to protect the property market. Sales will level gradually and the opening of the property market will probably not have a negative impact on supply of real estate for Slovenian citizens, the ministry has said.

Real estate agents, meanwhile, stress that most buyers come from Great Britain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Ireland and Spain, although most purchases are done privately, not through agents.

While buyers who opt for the plains of Prekmurje most commonly buy houses (old buildings can be had for as little as SIT 5m (EUR 21,000), those buying at the seaside tend to opt for apartments and condos.

British buyers are at the top of the list in both regions, which real estate agents says is probably the results of cheap flights from London to Ljubljana. Agents from the Primorska region have also said that Britons who buy property tend to be working class, while Austrian and German buyers come from the upper and middle classes.

The Gorenjska region is also exceedingly popular, and although only ten percent of all properties sold to foreigners are in the region, agents say that foreigners, especially Britons and the Irish, buy up 70 percent of all real estate on the market. The ski resort Kranjska Gora is the most popular location, followed by the picturesque lakeside resorts of Bled and Bohinj.
According to the property agents, foreigners come here to buy houses, but when they see that prices are much higher than in Poland or Slovakia they typically opt for condos or apartments instead.

Prices have so far been rising due to the ongoing development of the resorts, by 10 to 30 percent. But the agents expect that the raising demand will push up prices even further.

Slovenia is one of the few EU members that have fully liberalised their real estate market for EU citizens following EU entry. The country has negotiated the option of invoking special safeguarding measures in case of excessive demand that would push up prices, but this looks unlikely to happen at this point.


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At 9:50 PM, Blogger Oteng said...

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