Where is the cheapest place to buy property in Austria?

The skyline of Vienna, Austria.
Austria is known as an expensive country and it’s no different when it comes to buying property.

Prices in the capital city Vienna are always high, as well as in ski resort hotspots in the western provinces in the heart of the alps. 

Surprisingly though, Vienna is not Austria’s most expensive city for property.

In 2020, Innsbruck in Tyrol retained the top spot with the average price for a square meter rising to €6,170, according to figures from Immowelt. An amount that is out of reach for most people.

But if Tyrol has some of the most expensive prices in the country, where is the cheapest place to buy property?

The answer is to go east.

Lowest property prices in Austria

Lower Austria and Burgenland are two provinces where buyers can still find cheaper prices for property.

In fact, Immowelt reported that some districts in Lower Austria have the lowest property prices per square metre in all of Austria. These areas are mostly found close to the border with the Czech Republic. 

For example, prices in Lilienfeld, south of St. Pölten, start at €1,290 euros per square metre. In Horn, the capital of the Waldviertel district, prices start at €1,180 euros.

But the cheapest option was found in Jennersdorf, in Burgenland, with prices at just €1,070 per square metre. 

Other prices per square metre in Burgenland were reported as starting at €1,300 in Oberpullendorf and €1,390 in Oberwart.

To provide a comparison, the report also listed the average price per square metre in Kitzbühel in Tyrol at €6,460 – even more expensive than Innsbruck.

According to real estate agents Engel & Völkers, the price per square metre in Kitzbühel has risen by 150 per cent since 2012, which makes it the last place to consider if looking for a cheaper home to buy in Austria.

Why is there such a difference in price between the provinces?

Tyrol is home to the Austrian alps and many ski resorts, including famous Kitzbühel. As a result, it’s a magnet for rich investors – often from outside of Austria. 

This is great for property developers but for local people it makes getting on the property ladder almost impossible.

READ MORE: Seven common mistakes to avoid when buying a home in Austria

It also helps to ensure property prices across the province, including the capital Innsbruck, remain high.

However, places like Lilienfeld and Horn in Lower Austria don’t have the same appeal to buyers and investors – especially when it comes to luxury second homes. 

And although Lilienfeld and Horn are not too far from Vienna, they are not as well connected to the city with public transport as other towns in the province, which keeps prices low.

Burgenland, on the other hand, is a prominent wine region and enjoys a milder climate. 

But the economy is not as strong as in other provinces with one of the lowest GDP per capita across Austria. This is then reflected in the property prices.

The Steineres Meer mountains are seen in the background on a sunny day as sheep graze in a field in Leogang, near Salzburg, Austria. Photo: ALEXANDER KLEIN / AFP

Has the pandemic impacted property prices in Austria?

Despite reports of economic doom and gloom, the pandemic hasn’t hit the property market in Austria with prices increasing by 11.6 per cent in 2020, as reported by The Local earlier this year.

In fact, experts are predicting that prices will keep rising throughout 2021 as more people seek stability and safe investments – like in property. 

READ MORE: The hidden costs of buying a home in Austria

The main difference however is that more buyers are searching for homes outside of city centres, with the areas surrounding Vienna and the lakes region in Carinthia becoming popular locations.

Home ownership rules for foreigners in Austria

The rules on foreign ownership of property in Austria differ between provinces.

For example, in Tyrol, Vorarlberg and Salzburg, non-EU citizens are not allowed to directly own a holiday home in these provinces.

Whereas in Burgenland, Carinthia, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Styria and Vienna, buyers have to apply for a foreigner permit licence first.

For third-country nationals living in Austria (which now includes Brits), a mandatory approval is required from either the provincial or district administration authority before they can buy property.  

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