For members


Property news in Austria: Numbers moving from cities to countryside rise

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

Austria property news
Image by Dimitry Anikin.

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

Here’s what you need to know this week.

Nationwide growth in real estate sales

A new report by REMAX, the largest real estate network in Austria, has revealed around 77,000 properties were sold in the first half of 2021 – an increase of 14 percent on the previous year.

The biggest drivers of growth were in Lower Austria (+2,421), Vienna (+1,828), Upper Austria (+1,324) and Carinthia (+1,220). The lowest growth was recorded in Salzburg and Styria.

REMAX suggests the increase is due to more time spent at home as a result of the pandemic and more people turning to property as an investment. 

However, in Burgenland, the increase in the number of properties sold in the first half of this year was even higher at almost 30 percent. 

But the southern Burgenland districts of Jennersdorf, Oberwart, Güssing and Oberpullendorf continue to be among the districts with the cheapest property prices in Austria. 

The most expensive retail sale in Burgenland was a retail park in Kittsee, in Neusiedl am See, for €23 million.

An increase in moving from the city to the suburbs

According to an ORF article, the demand – and prices – for homes in urban suburbs in Austria is increasing as more people seek to swap city life for the countryside.

Figures show that in 2020 more people moved from cities, such as Linz, Wels, Graz and Vienna, to the surrounding suburbs, known in Austria as “the bacon belt” (Speckgürtel), than the other way around.

For example, in 2016 more people moved to Vienna than left (+1,138), but in 2020 more people left the city than moved in (-3,431). 

READ MORE: Working in Austria: A roundup of the latest jobs news and information

Despite the trend, Rudolf Giffinger, Head of the Urban and Regional Research Department at the Vienna University of Technology (TU), told ORF that some people may struggle to move to the countryside as financing options are “insufficient” when compared to rising prices.

Additionally, the trend of moving out of urban centres to more rural areas is cited as socioeconomic and being driven by people that can afford it, as well as those who can take advantage of new flexible working conditions.

Der Standard reports that single-family homes and plots of land are in high demand in the bacon belt, with many brokers revealing they have long lists of people searching for a new home outside of city centres.

The Graz bacon belt is also expanding – along with prices. Plots that were €25 per square metre two years ago, are now selling for €100 per square metre.

Students save money in shared apartments

A recent Immowelt survey shows that students can save around €200 per month by living in a flat share rather than renting a studio apartment up to 40 square metres.

The study looked at the rent prices for studios and shared apartments in 12 university cities, including Vienna and Innsbruck.

The results revealed students in Vienna can save €213 per month by opting for shared accommodation. In Innsbruck and Dornbirn, it was €207 a month.

However, in Steyr, Upper Austria, the saving was only €100, and in Villach, Carinthia, it was €90.

In Vienna, the average cost for a studio apartment is around €550, but a spacious apartment between 70 to 90 square metres costs around €1,010.

FOR MEMBERS: The five best destinations to visit in Austria this summer

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For members


Where to find property in Austria for under €100k

Austria is not known for being a cheap country and property prices are higher than in some other European countries, but it's still possible to find property bargains, some for even under €100k.

Where to find property in Austria for under €100k

Property prices are rising in much of Europe, and Austria is no exception.

The graph below from the European Union’s statistical agency Eurostat shows the sharp upwards trajectory over the past few years with property price increases in Austria outpacing those in the European Union  as a whole.

And a new survey found that the average price per square metre for new apartments in Austria rose by 11 percent last year, making the country Europe’s second-most expensive market.

It’s no surprise, then, that property ownership in Austria remains low.

According to Eurostat, 55.2 percent of people owned their home in Austria in 2021 – well below the 70 percent European average. That’s the third lowest percentage in Europe after Switzerland (41.6 percent) and Germany (51.1 percent).

READ ALSO: Why do so few Austrians own their home?

So, where can we find cheap(er) homes in Austria – either properties that are move-in ready or those that could be excellent investments for those who enjoy fixer-uppers (or huge DIY projects)?

To find these gems, we used a property website that allowed us to search for real estate in the whole of Austria (instead of just a few main cities) and showed us homes with at least three rooms.

The price limit was set at €100,000 (while our colleagues in even-more-expensive Switzerland had theirs set at a much heftier CHF 500k, around €515k).

As of August 2022, we found 25 houses and 34 apartments meeting these criteria on sale.

As you might expect, many of these need (a lot of) work, but the good news is you can definitely still nab a home for under €100,000 with gorgeous views, small plots of land or lake access.

austria map
Houses below €100k are mainly in the south and east of the country. Property map from

What types of properties are there?
Looking at houses first (see the map above, which also shows the average purchase price across Austria’s different regions), a few things stand out:

The vast majority of the immediately liveable properties are on the tiny side – most are around the 40 square metres mark and billed as holiday homes – but many come fully furnished, a bonus if you’re working to a tight budget.

You will find bigger ones (the largest we saw was 124 square metres), but then they are likely to be complete renovation projects.

If you head for the border, you’ll get more house for your euro in southern and eastern Austria. Many of the properties we saw were in peaceful Burgenland, Austria’s least populous state.

And if you’re happy to buy just over the border in Hungary, Slovakia or even cross into Croatia, you’ll get more space – and less work – for your money.

You might think cities would be a complete no-no for snapping up bargain properties, but when we looked, we actually found a few properties a short drive from Vienna that were below our top price.

House or apartment?
When it comes to apartments, you’ll get more square metres  – we found flats within this price bracket were around 70 square metres on average – and a slightly greater choice of location for your money

READ ALSO: ‘Concrete gold’: Austria ranks as Europe’s second most expensive property market

Plus, the apartments we found were generally in much better condition – some are even newly renovated and fabulous – so you wouldn’t have so much, if any, work to do.

But there is, inevitably, a compromise: you might get a terrace or a balcony, but most won’t have a proper garden, and certainly no land or outbuildings, which many of the houses we found did have.

If you opt for an apartment over a house, you’ll usually have a slightly greater choice of location. Property map from

Even when you do find cheap properties, though, they are sometimes quite literally too good to be true. Some may require completely gutting, others may not be connected to the grid or might need costly lease renegotiations.

So, whether you go for a house or an apartment, you need to make sure you do your homework and carry out a thorough inspection first.

While renovation projects can be great investments, they’re time-consuming and can be very costly.

Before you take the huge step of purchasing, be honest with yourself about your own skill levels and how much time you have for a project – it’s easy to get caught up in the romantic idea of the end result of a gorgeous renovation – and get estimates for any work that needs to be done.

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

If you’re looking at buying somewhere to rent out, check average monthly rents for that area to be sure it’s worth you putting all the hard work in and that you’ll get a good return on your investment.

Whatever your reason for buying, check the property’s location carefully – some have poor access or no connection to basic services.

And it’s important to be mindful of extra costs, too: besides renovation costs, you’ll also have to fork out for property taxes, monthly charges, as well as any lease renewal costs and other living expenses.

These can all vary depending on the type of property and where it is.