Today in Austria For Members

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday

Aaron Burnett
Aaron Burnett - [email protected]
Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
Graz is still a place where foreigners can buy property without a lot of restriction, but there are taxes in place on vacant second homes to be aware of. (Photo by Daniela Turcanu on Unsplash)

Declining Austrian naturalisations, expensive real estate, and other news from around the country.


Decline in people taking up Austrian citizenship

The number of people naturalising as Austrian saw a steep drop in the first half of 2023.

6,658 people became Austrian during that time – an 18.3 percent drop compared to the same time last year.

Statistics Austria says most of the decline is due to fewer people claiming Austrian citizenship through descent from Nazi victims – a route that allows the applicant to also keep their other citizenship and which they may be entitled to even if they don’t speak German and have never set foot in Austria.

Austrian citizenship applications through the route are down two-thirds so far this year compared to the first six months of 2022.

The decline marks a reversal of a steady upward trend in people taking Austrian citizenship since 2016.

READ ALSO: Five surprising Austrian citizenship rules you should know about


Integration Minister decries “wrong form of immigration”

Integration Minister Susanne Raab (ÖVP) has said Austria is getting the wrong kind on immigration during an interview with the Austrian Press Association, pointing out that 2022 saw 21,000 asylum applications accepted and only 2,900 Red-White-Red cards issued for highly skilled workers.

Raab says the government is in favour of restricting benefits for people who have been in the country less than five years and also setting up a coordination centre to attract more skilled immigrants.

Raab wants such a national coordination centre to specifically assists Red-White-Red applicants – particularly with issues around moving their families to Austria, and allowing them to access German lessons.

READ ALSO: How the ÖVP wants to make it harder for foreigners in Austria to access benefits


Austrian real estate expensive by international comparison

An international survey of real estate in 27 countries finds only one country has markedly more expensive real estate than Austria.

The Deloitte Property Index finds an average price of €4,925 per square metre in newly built Austrian properties.

That comes just ahead of Germany at €4,800 per square metre but a clear distance behind Israel at €5,701 per square metre.

The average number in Austria hides a fair amount of discrepancy between cities though. Vienna’s average cost for a newly built property comes in at €6,284 per square metre – 28 percent above the national average.

The lowest average price in an Austrian city is found in Graz – at €3,705 per square metre.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Why people have stopped buying property in Austria

Wednesday weather

The entire country remains under a heat warning until Friday, with temperatures expected at around 32C for most of the country today.

Despite the high temperatures, most Austrian cities could see at least a little bit of rain Wednesday.

Some cooling in parts of the country could be expected by the weekend, when a cold front is forecast to move in.

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