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PROPERTY

Property in Austria: A roundup of the latest news and info

Stay up-to-date on the latest Austrian property news with The Local's weekly roundup.

Austria property

Thinking of buying a house, moving house, investing or just curious about the property market in Austria? 

Here’s our weekly property wrap. 

Tyrol is six times more expensive than the east of Austria

A new study by Immowelt has revealed the Kitzbühel district in Tyrol is the most expensive region for property in Austria.

The average price for one square meter in the alpine district is €8,050 – six times more than the average price in the east of the country.

The report states: “This is due to numerous luxury apartments in the popular ski resorts: Chalets in Kirchberg or penthouse apartments in Kitzbühel for several million Euros are not uncommon on the market. 

“This offer is aimed more at well-heeled investors. There are hardly any affordable apartments or houses to buy yourself.”

READ MORE: Five common apartment scams in Austria

Kitzbühel recently recorded the highest property sale for an apartment or house in Austria. In the second quarter of 2021, a single-family house sold for €10.3 million. 

The next expensive spot for property is the city of Innsbruck (also in Tyrol) at €6,560 per square meter, followed by €5,860 in Salzburg city and €5,160 in Hallein in Salzburg.

However, in Salzburg city most properties are not purchased to live in but to rent out to tourists.

Vienna was listed at the eighth most expensive place in Austria for property with the average price per square meter at €4,880.

There is also lots of construction taking place in Vienna to keep up with a growing population and high demand for residential property.

Lower Austria and Burgenland are the cheapest places for property 

The Immowelt study revealed Lilienfeld in Lower Austria and Jennersdorf in Burgenland as the cheapest places to buy property.

The average price per square meter in Lilienfeld is €1,370 and in Jennersdorf it is €1,380.

FOR MEMBERS: Everything that changes in Austria in September 2021

According to Immowelt: “One of the reasons for this is that the number of residents in Lilienfeld is declining and the demand for living space is therefore not as great as in the flourishing western districts. 

“Instead of new buildings, the market is determined by cheaper existing properties.”

Warnings of a real estate bubble

The Empirica Research Institute is warning of a real estate bubble across Europe.

Handelsblatt reports that as soon as interest rates rise, rent prices will also have to go up.

Reiner Braun, CEO of the Empirica Research Institute, said: “Of course we have a real estate bubble.”

READ ALSO: Water, sewage and garbage costs to increase in Vienna next year

Annika Winsth, chief economist at Nordic bank Nordea, has also issued a warning of overheating in the European property market.

This comes as the Remax broker network recorded 76,589 property transactions in Austria in the first half of 2021. 

The total value of sales was €19.6 billion – 20 percent more than in 2020.

The real estate market in Vorarlberg is booming

From January to June of this year, €1.24 million worth of real estate transactions were carried out in Vorarlberg – an increase of 15 percent on the previous year.

Bregenz, Dornbirn and Feldkirch are the districts with the highest growth in property transactions in the province.

In an article on Vorarlberg Online, Bernhard Reikersdorfer, Managing Director of Remax Austria, said many people are purchasing property in Vorarlberg as an investment or as an additional pension provision.

Did you know?

The most expensive real estate sales in Austria in the first half of 2021 were in Vienna.

An office building complex in the 12th District sold for €120 million, followed by an apartment building in the 1st District for €44 million.

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PROPERTY

EXPLAINED: The rules for buying property in Graz as a foreigner

Buying property as an international resident in Austria is not a standard process across the country, and there is a key difference in the Styrian city of Graz.

EXPLAINED: The rules for buying property in Graz as a foreigner

Graz is Austria’s second largest city (after the capital, Vienna) and attracts people from all over the world to live and work.

But what about buying property as a foreigner in Graz? What are the rules?

Here’s what you need to know before jumping into the property market in the Styrian capital city. 

FOR MEMBERS: EXPLAINED: Property buying rules for international residents in Austria

Who is classed as a foreigner in Austria?

Foreign nationals are defined by the Austrian Federal Government as those that do not have Austrian citizenship.

However, when it comes to buying property, there are varying rules for different foreigners, mostly depending on whether someone is from an EU country or not (rather than whether they have an Austrian passport). 

Property buying rules for EU and EEA citizens in Austria

In Austria, it’s relatively easy for citizens from EU and EEA countries and Switzerland to buy property as a foreigner.

This is because these citizens are granted the same rights as Austrian nationals under EU law.

So this means whether you are an EU citizen already living in Graz as a resident, or you simply want to purchase an investment property in the city, it is possible.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: How Austria’s new property buying rules could impact you

Austrian rules for third country nationals

In Austria, the term ‘third country nationals’ refers to anyone who is not from an EU member state, an EEA (European Economic Area) country (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) or Switzerland. 

For this group it usually becomes more difficult to buy a home in Austria – even for permanent residents – due to strict property buying rules.

In principle, any permanent residents from a third country in Austria have to go through an authorisation process to gain a special permit that will allow them to buy property. 

The reason for the special permit is to ensure there is sufficient housing available for Austrian citizens and to avoid surging property and land prices from interest by non-EU buyers.

But in Graz, the rules are more relaxed than the national laws, making the process much easier for foreigners wanting to invest in property in the city.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Why Austria’s rising property prices are causing alarm

What is different in Graz?

The biggest difference in the rules for foreigners in Graz is that there is no requirement to gain the special permit to buy property, unlike in other provinces and cities across Austria.

This means, as long as someone is a permanent resident in Graz (and they have the funds), they can buy property – no matter where they are from.

Brits with an Article 50 card

Since Brexit became a reality in January 2021, there has been some confusion in Austria about the rights of British people to buy property in the Alpine Republic, so here’s a brief explainer.

For those in possession of an Article 50 Card – a post-Brexit residency permit that grants British people living in Austria before December 31st 2020 pre-Brexit rights – they are still treated the same as those from EU member states.

FOR MEMBERS: How can British second home owners spend more than 90 days in Austria?

This should apply across Austria and was confirmed to The Local by the British Embassy in Vienna. It was also highlighted by the UK government in its official Living in Austria guide.

As a result, there is no need for British people with an Article 50 card to apply for the special permit to purchase property in Graz, or anywhere else in Austria. 

But for any British people that have moved to Austria in post-Brexit times, they will be considered as third country nationals and subject to the rules detailed above (although not in Graz where the permit is not required).

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