Croatia Property News

Croatia courts Russian buyers with legal change

Russian investors are now able to buy real estate in Croatia without having to go through a company and, as a result, agents believe demand is set to rise further

Croatia has updated its legal regulations to make it easier for Russians to buy property there.
Before now, if Russians wanted to buy homes in Croatia they had to do it through a company, but now the law is being simplified to allow individuals to purchase real estate. The rules were changed after Croat property professionals felt they were losing out on Russian investment.
Justice Minister Orsat Miljenic says Russians will now be able to buy property in the same way that Croats can do in Russia. “It was absurd that Russian companies could by companies in Croatia, but Russian citizens were not allowed to buy property.”

Despite the regulatory change, there is still an important difference between buying in Croatia and Russia, says the Minister of Justice said when buying an apartment in Russia, investors only own the property, while in Croatia they can own the property and the land it stands on.

Buyer interest in second homes in Croatia has risen 30% in the first quarter of the year and has benefitted from the country’s entry into the European Union, according to luxury agent Engel & Völkers, which has offices on the island of Rab and Opatija on the Adriatic Coast.

Nine out of 10 buyers come from abroad, with the main demand coming from Germany and Austria, as well as Russians and Eastern Europeans.

Managing Partner Michael Grimm believes there will be significant price rises for second homes in the country’s most popular regions.

“As a result of EU entry we are registering significantly more viewing appointments and genuine intentions to purchase from foreign buyers. Compared to Spain or Italy, the prices for holiday homes in Croatia in the very best locations are still relatively low. That said, the growing level of demand means that we are anticipating a considerable rise in prices for holiday properties in Croatia over the coming months.

Istria is popular with international buyers and exclusive natural stone houses in prime positions are reaching ?500,000, he adds.