Property Market info

At Think Slovenia we work with a broad range of investors in Slovenian property from private purchasers of holiday homes to investors focusing on Slovenia property development or on Slovenia’s tourist and long term rental markets. Our specialism is on Slovenia’s tourist and residential property markets but we have capabilities and partnerships that can help investors unlock all types of Slovenian property and help you to access up to 25,000 properties on the market in Slovenia. This page gives a general background to Slovenia property, but our service is tailored to every client’s unique circumstances. Please see our services for an introduction to the Slovenian real estate services we offer or email us to discuss your requirements. Resources for commercial investors / developers can be found here.

 

With its strategic geographical position proximity and interdependence with Austria and Italy, Slovenia was historically the most prosperous member state of the former Yugoslavia and indeed of all the European communist states. Slovenia gained its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 and made rapid progress to transform itself into a modern European market economy with well developed infrastructure and a well educated work force. Slovenia’s economic performance since EU accession in 2004 was impressive with the country taking a number of tangible steps to improve the business climate and take advantage of its strategic location to gain significant levels of foreign investment. Slovenia’s strong economic performance in the early years of the millennium meant that the country was the first of the new EU entrants in 2004 to join the Euro in January 2007. Like many of its neighbours the Slovenian economy had a tough time during the years of the European and global economic crises but returned to sustained economic growth in 2014. More general information on Slovenia its economy and regions can be found here. Click here for a simple guide in English to Slovenia's tax regime.

The Slovenian Economy - Key indicators
GDP per capita (LCU) in 2015 18,693 EUR Inflation in 2016 0.1 %
Growth in GDP in 2015 2.3 % Exports of goods and services in 2015 30.06 billion EUR
Projected annual GDP growth for 2017 2.9 % Imports of goods and services in 2015 26.54 billion EUR
% share of GDP 2015   Unemployment in 2015 7.3 %
Agriculture 2.1 % Major industries Wood products, textiles, chemicals and electronics
Construction 4.7 % Main agricultural products Wheat, sugar beets, cattle and sheep
Industry 20.4 % Main exports Machinery, equipment & finished products (chemicals and food)
Services 72.0 % Trade partners Over 60% of exports are to the countries of the EU

One of the bright spots of the Slovenian economy for a number of years has been the tourism sector which has continued to grow steadily and shows no sign of slowing up. This has been driven by the fact that so many of Slovenia's strongest characteristics are "on-trend" with trends in tourism - such as green and active holidays, due to the gradual improvement in tourist infrastructure from attractions to accommodation and to the success of the country overall and individual resorts / regions in promoting themselves. This upwards trend in Slovenian tourism is of particular relevance / interest to buyers of Slovenian holiday homes as many tourist areas have seen property growth which has tended to beat market averages and steadily improving conditions for tourist property rental. 

Offers & negotiations

Generally the property purchase process in Slovenia is quick and straightforward with an efficient and comprehensive Land Registry system. As in most countries the price of property in Slovenia is negotiable and the first stage in the purchase process is for parties to agree the price and other main conditions of the sale. It is not common in Slovenia to formally survey properties after making an offer. It is possible to arrange, however, should you want that peace of mind, but care should be taken if your offer is to be dependent on the findings of the survey and it is sometimes better to survey before making a formal offer.

Contracts & deposit

In most cases once a price is agreed a main sales contract is drafted which outlines the core terms of the sale and obliges each party to complete the sale within a given time frame. Usually the signature of the contract is followed by payment of a deposit of 10% of the purchase price. In some cases a preliminary contract is signed to agree terms relating to the payment of the deposit and the main sales contract is signed later. The deposit has a special status under Slovenian law meaning that the buyer will lose it if he is responsible for the sale not completing and the seller is obliged to return the deposit and pay the buyer the same amount again if he is responsible for non-completion. The signature of contracts can be done remotely or usually more advisedly face to face at a notary using the notary contractual format which offers buyers and sellers alike additional legal protections in the event of a dispute.

Sales documentation

Before a main sales contract can be signed key paperwork needs to be obtained often including a certificate about the intended usage of the real estate in question and for foreign buyers, Slovenian registration and tax identification numbers. In the event of the real estate having special status of some sort (e.g. agricultural land / located in a National Park / protected status) various documents must usually be obtained before signing a main sales contract. Land Registry searches to check the ownership status of the real estate should be conducted before signing the contracts and contracts should be carefully checked by a specialist and translated if appropriate, although unless the translation is court certified it will be the Slovenian version of the contract that must be signed.

Tax & notarization

Once the main sales contract is signed and any contractual impediments to the completion of the sale resolved, the sales tax can be paid on the transaction (2% sales tax for resale properties, VAT payable on new properties / some land types, capital gains tax payable in some circumstances). Common practice is that the sellers pay the tax on the sale. Once the tax has been paid, all the conditions of the sale are met and any impediments resolved the seller’s signature on the contract is certified by a notary and once notary certification is complete, payment of the outstanding purchase price can take place. Buyers should be careful to ensure that before payment, the certified version of the main sales contract is held securely by a third party and / or they are in possession of a copy of the certified contract.

Land registry inscription

After payment they or their representative will need a copy of the certified contract in order to make a Land Registry inscription of the ownership and possession rights as laid out in the sales contract, which should happen as soon as possible after the contract is certified and payment made. If necessary notations can be placed in the Land Registry between contract signature and payment to ensure that there are no changes to the Land registry status prior to Land Registry inscription of the buyer's ownership rights.

Costs & handover

Typically, Slovenian real estate agents charge 4% + DDV (VAT at 22%) split equally between the buyer and seller. On top of the agents fees sellers usually cover costs of the taxes and certification of the sales contract by a notary. Buyers usually pay for Land Registry inscription. Translation of documents where appropriate is paid by the party requiring translation. The final stage of the process is to arrange the hand over. Usually for Slovenia property this takes the form of a face to face meeting at the property where keys are handed over, meter readings are taken and a handover record signed giving the buyer total responsibility for real estate. Once you’ve got the keys in hand the real work starts! Please see our Slovenian Property Renovation and Property Management sections for more details of how we can help you once you have purchased a property – we have a range of services to help you renovate, furnish, let and manage your Slovenian property.

Anti speculative tax regulations, availability of credit and tight planning regulations and procedures can make property development in Slovenia a challenging enterprise. On the other hand it also makes it less competitive than some other markets and the availability of skilled trades / craftsmen is good. Prospective developers should also bear in mind that the relatively strong culture of self building in Slovenia means that market does not always price the risk and work involved in management of the development / renovation of Slovenian property as highly as some other markets. We have worked with a wide range of developers and assisted clients with a very broad range of developments in Slovenia. Please click for our dedicated page for renovations, our page for professional developers / investors or alternatively contact us to discuss your individual requirements.

The residential rental market is smaller on a per capita basis than many Western European countries due to the high levels of home ownership in Slovenia. This said the rental market is buoyant in Ljubljana, with its large student population with gross yields of 3-6 % achievable. Ljubljana remains by far the biggest rental market in Slovenia with around 40% of long term rental transactions, up to two thirds of which are in studio / 1 bedroom apartments of under 60m2. The tourist rental market is also of interest to many foreign investors with gross yields of as high as 8% possible in and around the main Slovenian tourist resorts and with some of the mountain areas offering genuine year round rental potential. We recommend all potential investors interested in Slovenian property rental for tourism to take advice prior to purchase and to be aware of the procedures for registering / setting up for tourist rental. Please click here for more information on Slovenian property rental and management.

 

Copyright © 2016 Think Slovenia, All rights reserved