Austria: one of the most unique places to buy real estate as a foreigner.
Buying any real estate in Austria is generally considered to be an excellent investment, particularly in Vienna. To begin with, the high quality of life and excellent medical care coupled with affordable property, make Austria an attractive place to purchase real estate. Then, of course, there are the countless ski resorts, breathtaking scenery, and stunning architecture.
If you are relocating to the scenic Alpine nation, you’ll want to know everything there is to know about buying a home there.
The Austrian property market and property prices
Generally, real estate in Austria is considered affordable compared to other parts of Europe. This is particularly true in Vienna when compared to Munich or Zurich. Typically, the real estate market is stable with moderate yet steady yields and low-interest rates. Notably, the Euro has jumped 11% against the dollar since May 2020. The strength of the Euro also has other nations viewing it as a currency for safety and liquidity.
That said, property prices have seen a steady rise over the last decade. During the year to Q3 2019, for instance, the residential property price index in Austria rose by 5.22%. Meanwhile, house prices in Vienna, Austria’s capital, rose by 7.62%, and by an average of 1.82% in the rest of the country.
As of April 2020, a two-bedroom flat in Austria costs €256,000 on average; higher than the average of €168,702 across Europe. However, the cost fluctuates largely from country to country with Switzerland at the top (with €548,845) and Moldova at the bottom (with €47,000). A new house in Austria costs €359,000 on average.
Remarkably, even the COVID-19 global pandemic hasn’t affected the property market in Austria. The nation, and the capital Vienna, continue to grow with property prices increasing markedly in 2020. It’s possible that this increase is a result of people investing more in their homes rather than renting in popular areas for nightlife and entertainment
HOW CAN A EU-CITIZEN BUY A PROPERTY
Individuals residing in the countries of the European Union and EEA-member states enjoy the same rights as the natives in Austria. To be exact they are free to obtain any real estate in Vienna and other cities. The exception is provided by the areas of farmlands. Restrictions for their usage refer to all persons living in EU, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
BUYING REAL ESTATE BY NON-EU RESIDENTS
A private person is granted a right for property ownership in Austria only if he has an EU residence permit. Though the number of regions where it is possible to obtain housing is limited to several: Upper and Lower Austria, Styria, Carinthia and Vienna suburbs. These areas are not extremely sought after among tourists. But here is commercial property available for selling.
Practically any kind of real estate property can be acquired by legal entities, on condition when 51% shares held by EU-residents. A company, registered in Austria should produce good returns, because the costs for its keeping and taxes turn out rather high.
Buying real estate and residence permit in Austria
It is impossible to obtain a residence permit when buying real estate here- this is not provided for by law. Such offers are valid in Spain, Portugal, Greece. In Austria, the procedure is just the opposite: if you are not a citizen of the European Union, then you first apply for a residence permit here and then buy Austrian real estate.
Moreover, you can buy only one single home for your own residence, you cannot buy commercial real estate or a second apartment/house.
The Austrian authorities have resolved both of these issues with one program that allows financially independent persons to apply for a residence permit, who undertake to reside for more than 183 days a year. They automatically become tax residents here and therefore get the right to buy real estate in Austria.
Non-residents in order to buy an apartment in this country must obtain special permission from the authorities. To do this, it is necessary to comply with a number of conditions that are regulated by local laws, for example, to permanently reside on this land before buying real estate for at least 3 years.
There is an important nuance - before applying for a residence permit, you can buy real estate in Austria, but only with the permission of the authorities. Without it, you can buy a house or apartment only after obtaining a status. However, for its registration at the initial stage, you must have Austrian registration. To do this, you need to rent a property here and register at a new address.
So, if you are interested in finding out more about how to make Austria your next investment, as well as other opportunities to develop your business, contact us today! Below this article, you will find a link to set up a consultation with us to discuss your options further.
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