Foreigners are in no rush to buy up properties in Croatia now that the country has received the green light to join the European Union, some experts believe.
Real estate consultant from Britain Liam Bailey does not think that the formal accession to the EU on 1 July 2013 will bring an avalanche of property buyers from abroad.
“I simply do not foresee such a scenario,” Bailey says.
“Despite the perception that you probably have in Croatia, foreign buyers are more attracted by other, relatively new markets such as Turkey or Albania – or especially Montenegro that has an image of a high-luxury destination,” Bailey said. Although royals and the rich that gave Montenegro its reputation also come to Croatia, Montenegro has managed to improve its use of PR for promotion.
The current real estate prices in Croatia are not lower than in the rest of the EU, although the state is not yet a fully-fledged member, says Bailey.
The liberalisation of the market in 2009 brought about changes, allowing foreigners to buy property under the same conditions as Croatians – which means that they already had a chance to buy up a lot more had they wanted to.
Agencies say that the interest in Croatian real estate is not growing, and banks say there is no rush after loans. If the foreigners are buying, they are paying in cash, daily Vecernji List writes.
The biggest foreign property owners on the Adriatic coast are Germans, Austrians, Hungarians and Brits, followed by Slovenians and Italians. The new wave of “deep pocket” buyers comes from Russia, but for them the market is not as open – they can buy property only as legal entities, or in other words through companies because Croatia does not have a reciprocity agreement with Russia.