You’ve decided to make the move to the EU, and are seriously considering Austria, but how is the property market shaping up at the moment? What kinds of properties are there to choose from and what are the most suitable locations? Where is best to invest?
Trends and investment in Austria
Although property prices in Austria are on the rise, and remain buoyant in terms of investment, this should not dissuade first time buyers in Europe. The majority of the population in Austria live in and around cities like Innsbruck, Salzburg and Vienna. In terms of real estate investment theses cities are the places to look out for!
Vienna is of course a prime choice and as the country’s capital and a hub of affluence, the property market has been consistently competitive, with house prices rising on a quarterly basis 4.3% in Q1 2012 and showing no sign of moving in the other direction, despite the projected economic slowdown due to the on-going Eurozone debt crisis.
If you are unswervingly charmed by Vienna’s splendid and historical heritage, a 2012 survey showed that average prices per square metre of apartments in wealthy neighbourhood Innere Stadt were two or three times the average price within other upmarket areas in Vienna, such as Döbling, Heitzing, Josefstadt and Margareten.
Whilst the more historical central city centre features some of the country’s steepest prices, the outer districts surrounding the city offer a pick of affordable and very attractive options: one of the biggest draws of buying a property in this area is its access to surrounding stunning alpine terrain for winter sports and breath-taking scenery.
The Alps attracts a year round influx of tourists, making apartments in this region a safe investment, with a trend for smaller apartments returning higher rental yields – a 60 sqm returning an average of 4.5% compared to a 225 sqm yielding 2.4%.
For better yields and a beautiful, tranquil location close to the Hungarian and Slovenian borders, look to Graz, where properties are more affordable with consumer prices – including rent, at a huge 17% lower than Vienna.
This is a region which is generally less well-known to overseas visitors or those who plan to settle: although Graz was 2003’s European City of Culture and prices are on the rise, they are still comparatively low. With excellent motorway and air links through its regional airport, ski resorts in the mountains of Steiermark and a slightly milder climate, Graz has all the elements of the Austrian lifestyle on offer at a reduced cost.
For non-EU nationals, property purchase regulations will differ in each of the country’s nine states: this is because to purchase land or a house, permission must be granted in line with the general interests of the Republic of Austria. Despite this, these previously strict limitations are said to have been relaxed, which will in turn open up new opportunities for non-European nationals looking to set up a home.
When buying to invest in Austria, all foreign investors should seriously consider speaking to an expert real estate agent or local attorney to take care of the official formalities, due to complex real estate laws.
Discuss your relocation plans
Establishing your immigration situation can also be a considerable hurdle when you are unsure of your options: whether you are considering incorporating a business in Austria and moving with your family through this, or are not in need of employment and simply wish to find a smooth route to permanent residency, please contact us at [email protected] for an initial discussion.