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Property prices around 39 percent higher than six years ago

Property prices in Austria have risen by an average of 39 percent since 2010, according to the ImmoDEX 2016 real estate report.

Property prices around 39 percent higher than six years ago
Photo: alexraths/Depositphotos

A new house in Austria (123m2) now costs on average €359,000. Prices for new-build properties have increased the most over the past six years in Styria (where the average cost is now €301,000), Burgenland (€260,000) and in Lower Austria (€338.000).

New homes are most expensive in the capital Vienna, where a 123m2 apartment or house costs around €471,000 – an increase of 22 percent since 2010.

The value of older properties has also risen on average by around 35 percent. “Anyone who purchased property in 2010 can be very happy from today's point of view,” according to Christian Nowak, Managing Director of ImmobilienScout24 in Austria.

Bargain prices for older properties can be found in Burgenland, Carinthia and Styria – with average prices for a house between €230,000 and €290,000. In Vorarlberg and Salzburg you can expect to pay double or triple that, with average prices between €515,000 and €560,000. The most expensive older properties are in Vienna (where a house or apartment with 169 m2 will set you back around €710,000) and in Tyrol (where average prices are €640,000).

New-build apartments now cost on average €351,000 euros for 80 m2.

Monthly rental costs have also risen in the past six years. For a used apartment you can now expect to pay on average €9,80 per square metre (not including operating costs) – an increase of 11 percent since 2010.

Rental prices for new properties have risen steeply, by 21 percent, with average costs now €11,50 per square metre. In Vienna council-owned properties, where rents tend to be cheaper and only rise according to inflation, are in high demand. Wiener Wohnen says it currently has 13,100 people on its waiting list, who have registered their interest in renting a council flat.

The fact that property prices are increasing should be cause for alarm, says Georg Spiegelfeld, president of the Austrian brokerage network Immobilienring IR. “There are not enough properties available and this problem will increase. Around 300,000 people are expected to move to Vienna over the next few years… and the city has not prepared for this.”

He said that the only answer is to “build, build, build and redesign”.

 

For members

RENTING

Tenant or landlord: Who pays which costs in Austria?

Renters in Austria are eligible for some operating costs and certain bills associated with renting a property. Here’s what you need to know.

Tenant or landlord: Who pays which costs in Austria?

When renting an apartment or a house in Austria it’s important to know your rights when it comes to expenses.

Operating costs, also known as the “second rent”, cover things like insurance, management fees and rubbish removal. Then there are utility bills, such as gas, electricity and internet, all of which can add up to significant monthly outgoings on top of the rent payment.

But when renting a property in Austria, who is responsible for which costs? The tenant or the landlord?

As with most things in life, it depends. Here’s why.

FOR MEMBERS: EXPLAINED: Which documents do you need to rent a flat in Austria?

What are operating costs? 

Operating costs (Betriebskosten) are financial expenses that landlords can pass onto tenants in Austria. It’s to ensure tenants pay their share of the running costs of a property.

However, the type of operating costs that a tenant is liable for will depend on the type of property they live in. Thankfully this is laid out in the Tenancy Act (MRG).

For example, in Vienna if you live in a new building that is subsidised with public funds, or an Altbau (old building built before 1945), then the law specifies which costs can be charged by a landlord.

These include water, garbage collection, electricity for lighting staircases and common areas, insurance for fire and water damage, management fees and running costs of communal facilities.

Whereas in a privately owned building, the rental contract should specify the operating costs that have to be paid by the tenant and which costs are covered by the landlord.

This can be negotiated before signing a contract.

READ MORE: ENERGY COSTS: How to claim financial support in Vienna

How are operating costs calculated?

According to The Tenants Association, operating costs are typically billed monthly at a flat rate. Each tenant pays a share of the expenses for the building in relation to the size of their apartment. 

The monthly amount is calculated by the total expenses of the previous year, plus a maximum increase of 10 per cent. Operating costs can legally be increased once a year.

A landlord must submit the bill for operating costs for the previous calendar year by June 30th. The landlord then has until the end of the year to correct the amount (if necessary). Once this deadline has passed the landlord can no longer make any claims for operating costs for the previous year.

Tenants with concerns about their bill for operating costs should seek advice from professional rental associations like Tenants Assistance for Vienna or The Tenants Association.

Stadt Wien also has a useful operating costs calculator that is free to use. 

READ ALSO: How to navigate the Austrian rental market

Who pays for utilities?

Eligibility for the cost of utilities (gas, electricity, water) will be stated in the rental contract. 

Usually the tenant pays these bills unless the cost of utilities is included in the rent, with the exception of cold water which is covered by the Tenancy Act and can be included in operating costs.

If utilities are not included in the rent, the good news is that you can sign up with a provider of your choice. However, if the utilities are included, then the landlord will typically choose the provider.

Operating costs covered by the Tenancy Act

These are operating costs that can be passed on to the tenant by the landlord in accordance with the law.

  • Cold water costs
  • Insurance for fire, liability and water
  • Operational costs for communal facilities, such as electricity for lifts or maintenance of a shared garden
  • Housekeeping and management fees
  • Taxes, including property tax
  • Pest control
  • Chimney sweeping
  • Rubbish removal
  • Sewer clearing

Operating costs not covered by the Tenancy Act

The following costs are not covered by Austrian law, which means landlords can’t pass on these costs to tenants.

  • Electricity in apartments (this is usually paid for by the tenant unless stated otherwise in the contract)
  • Repair work for burst pipes, damaged chimneys, lighting in staircases or intercoms
  • Connection to the public water supply network
  • Bank charges, interest or telephone fees
  • Clearing rubbish, such as after renovations on the building

Additional costs for tenants

The following are typical monthly costs that must be paid by tenants unless otherwise stated in the rental contract. 

  • Heating and energy costs (e.g. gas and electricity)
  • Hot water
  • Contents insurance (if stated in the rental agreement)
  • Internet
  • Phone 
  • Laundry charges (e.g. if shared facilities)
  • TV fees

Useful links

Mieterhilfe – Tenants Assistance for Vienna

Die Mieter Vereinigung – The Tenants Association

Arbitration Board Vienna – operated by the City of Vienna

ÖMB – Austrian Tenants and Apartment Owners Association

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