Ljubljana related

22 Jan 2020, 21:36 PM

This week’s property is one you can view from two angles – as a buyer or renter – since it’s on the market as both a rental property and one you can own outright,

Located in Bohinj, the third most popular place for a holiday home in Slovenia (with more details on that data here), the Villa Belica is a three-bedroom chalet that sleeps up to six, and can be rented at from €140 a night. There’s a spacious enclosed garden enclosed by a forest on one side of the chalet, while on the other side there’s a panoramic view of the Julian Alps, including Mount Triglav. Anyone who knows Slovenia knows the appeal of this part of the country, but if you haven’t visited then it’s right in the middle of all the most picturesque and active parts the country for those who enjoy mountain views, clear lakes, turquoise rivers, and the fresh air of the great outdoors, with a full range of seasonal sports, activities and adventures on offer. It really is the place to be if you like that kind of thing, and even if you wouldn’t want to live there full time it’s somewhere you have to visit if you want to know what makes this country special.

And if you fall in love with the area, and Villa Belica in particular, you can also buy it for €330,000, with both options being handed by Think Slovenia, who describe it as follows online.

Beautifully renovated three- bedroom Bohinj chalet in the village of Bohinj Polje, just a few minutes’ drive from Lake Bohin,j one of Slovenia's most stunning natural treasures and in close proximity to quality skiing at Vogel and a huge range of river, lake and mountain activities in summer. The chalet consists of an entry room, WC, double bedroom with en suite shower room, kitchen, large living / dining room with access onto the beautiful terrace on the ground floor.

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On the first floor are one double bedroom with lovely balcony, one twin bedroom and bathroom. In the basement is the second living room, plus laundry room and the boiler room. The terrace continues into a spacious enclosed garden on the edge of the forest with views over Triglav. On the edge of the plot is also a small shed, used as a storage.

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The tranquil village of Bohinj Polje lies just a few minutes’ drive or a short walk (2.5 km) via a scenic forest path to Lake Bohinj. In summer the lake offers the opportunity for kayaking, sailing and rowing, as well as fly-fishing, swimming or just relaxing on the lake shore. The mountains of Lake Bohinj are fantastic for walking and also offer scope for great mountain biking, canyoning, paragliding as well as skiing. The ski resort Vogel above Lake Bohinj is one of Slovenia’s best with good lift infrastructure and snow record. It is 5-10 minutes’ drive from the house to the Vogel cable car, which is also open in the summer giving easy access to high altitude walking and mountain biking.

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Five minutes’ drive away is Bohinjska Bistrica offering a modern water park with ample pool / spa facilities and other amenities including shops, bars, restaurants and bank. There are a wide range of other ski areas in Slovenia / Italy / Austria within day-trip distance from the property. Twenty minutes’ drive from the house is the world famous Lake Bled. An excellent holiday chalet in a sought after location and with great tourist rental potential and a solid rental history over recent years.

You can see more of this property at Think Slovenia, with it’s presentation as a rental or a sale.

22 Jan 2020, 09:55 AM

STA, 21 January 2020 - Bank NLB has asked the Constitutional Court to review tighter restrictions on lending imposed by the central bank in November. After filing the request on Tuesday, the bank expressed belief that its request would be a matter of priority for the court because of the "radical effect" the measures had on the quality of Slovenians' lives.

The bank believes that the measures were introduced too hastily and were too radical, and that they have to be abolished. Any anomalies detected in "individual market players" should instead be addressed with targeted and not systemic measures.

NLB says Banka Slovenije imposed the measures virtually overnight and triggered "an excessive drop in volume of loans and accessibility of loans by Slovenians within the strictly regulated and controlled system of commercial and savings banks, whereas there are no restrictions imposed on more expensive and more risky third loan providers".

The bank argues that the measures have already produced a radical effect with virtually total stop in growth in loan volume. What is more, the number of loans given out in the recent months has dropped dramatically.

The restrictions were introduced to protect the taxpayer, says the bank, adding, however, that Slovenian population is already among the least indebted in relevant global comparisons, while banks are highly liquid, which means that they are capable of absorbing any potential major shocks.

Moreover, Slovenia has the fresh experience of an extremely tough crisis, but in the 2009-2015 period there was no excessive increase in default among the population, the bank said.

Saying the measures were introduced overnight, the bank says the "legal unpredictability" makes it extremely hard to make business plans and evaluate companies.

The move by NLB comes a day after the Bank Association released data showing that the number of consumer loans had dropped by 60% compared to October and housing loans by 40%.

21 Jan 2020, 09:32 AM

STA, 20 January - Data from the Slovenian Bank Association show that the number of loans approved by banks in Slovenia in November and December, after the central bank's new crediting restrictions kicked in on 1 November, plummeted.

Data from ten banks show that the number of consumer loans dropped by around 60% over October and the number of housing loans by around 40%.

The number of consumer loans totalled 10,015 in October, but decreased to 3,804 in November and 3,624 in December, whereas the number of housing loans dropped from 1,424 in October to 923 in November and 812 in December.

The new rules took effect after Banka Slovenije announced them on 9 October in a bid to curb imprudent consumer lending practices.

The association noted that Banka Slovenije data also showed a steep drop in both types of loans after a major rise in October.

It added the surge was most probably a result of the central bank's announcement of the new rules, which prompted many to take out loans while still creditworthy.

The restrictions include a maximum 84-month maturity for consumer loans, down from 120 months recommended in 2018, and, most notably, curbs on housing loans.

Banks for the most part have to keep loan-to-value ratios (loan payments relative to the client's annual income) to below 50% for clients with monthly income of up to twice the gross minimum wage and below 67% for those making more than that.

Households with children are subject to additional restrictions since a certain monthly allowance needs to be left over for each child.

After the announcement of the new rules, the association estimated over 300,000 individuals would no longer be creditworthy.

Earlier this month the central bank said it was too early to fully assess the effect of the stricter rules.

14 Jan 2020, 17:59 PM

Ever wondered where all the second homes are in Slovenia, the vikendi and those defined by the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia (Statistični urad Republike Slovenije – SURS) as “dwellings reserved for seasonal and secondary use”? If so, wonder no more as we zoom in the data for 2018, the most recent year for which it’s available.

According to SURS, in 2018 there were a total of 19,896 such dwellings in Slovenia. Of these, 9,766 (49%) were in the west, and 10,130 (51%) in the east.

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But that scale, the two “cohesion regions”, hides a lot of detail, and if we look at the 12 statistical regions then something become clear: that Gorenjska (AKA Upper Carniola) seems to be the most desired location, with 3,376 holiday homes, or just under 17% of the total, as seen in the following map and table.

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Slovene English # %
Gorenjska Upper Carniola          3,376           5.22
Osrednjeslovenska Central Slovenia          2,489         12.51
Obalno-Kraška Coastal–Karst          2,333         11.73
Jugovzhodna Slovenija Southeast Slovenia          2,324         11.68
Podravska Drava          2,168         10.90
Savinjska Savinja          2,078         10.44
Goriška Gorizia          1,568           7.88
Posavska Lower Sava          1,037           5.21
Pomurksa Mura             988           4.97
Koroška Carinthia             650           3.27
Zasavska Central Sava             446           2.24
Primorsko-Notranjska Littoral–Inner Carniola             439           2.21


And the most popular place to buy a holiday home in Slovenia is...

Now zooming in to the highest level of detail that SURS offers – the 212 municipalities – we can see that there are seven areas where there are more than 500 holiday homes: Piran (1,038), Kranjska gora (961), Bohinj (843), Bovec (608), Brežice (526), Ljubljana (523), and Izola (512). You can visit an internactive version of the map below here and learn more, if wanted, while if you’re interested in more statistics about Slovenia then all our related stories are here.

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If you’re curious about some of the homes on the market, then check our real estate section, while all our stories on property are here.

21 Dec 2019, 10:52 AM

STA, 20 December 2019 - Home price growth accelerated in the third quarter of 2019, with average prices rising by 8.5% year-on-year and 3.1% over the previous quarter on the back of strong growth in prices of used flats, show Statistics Office figures released on Friday.

Prices of second-hand homes rose by 3.1% over the previous quarter and 5.3% on the year before, mostly due to a 6% increase in the prices of houses.

While the prices of used apartments, the biggest single category of real estate, grew at a slower rate, 1.6% at the quarterly level, in Ljubljana they rose by 2.3%.

"Compared to average 2015 prices, used apartments in Ljubljana are now a full 39.7% more expensive," the statisticians said.

New homes were on average 2% more expensive than in the second quarter, but the figure masks a 3.3% quarterly decline in prices of apartments, which was offset by a 12.7% surge in the prices of houses.

Transactions remained brisk as well, as homes worth EUR 320 million changed hands in the three months, just EUR 10 million less than in the second quarter.

There were very few sales of new homes: second-hand homes accounted for EUR 310 million of the total transactions.

More on this data can be found here

18 Dec 2019, 13:19 PM

The Slovenian Financial Administration (Finančna uprava) has issued a reminder that if you have property advertised on Airbnb, Booking and other non-Slovene providers then any income earned is subject to VAT. As such you much register as soon as possible, and submit your monthly VAT returns retrospectively (if needed) as a self-declaration in order to avoid fines.

If you rent out rooms, apartments or houses through intermediaries or advertising providers on websites (Airbnb, Booking, and the like) that are based outside Slovenia, you must pay 22% VAT as a recipient of brokerage services or advertising space. In order to benefit from such services you must first identify yourself for VAT purposes (even if you are not identified for VAT purposes because your turnover is below the mandatory VAT identification limit of €50,000).

You must submit monthly VAT returns electronically (via eDavki) and are not entitled to deduct VAT. You can correct any errors from previous periods by including them in your first (or current) VAT return. You also have to submit a VAT invoice even if you do not receive any income from the property in a given month (in which case you submit an empty invoice).

You must issue an invoice to the guest to whom you provided the service (i.e., renting out property for tourist leasing) and confirm it in the case of cash transactions. This is the case even if the guest paid for the service with a card or paid the advertising provider (Airbnb, etc) from whom you indirectly received this payment.

Taxpayers who "forget" to submit a monthly VAT return will receive a personal electronic warning in their personal inbox on eDavki. Failure to respond will result in a fine of €2,000. The Financial Administration notes with some regret that many people are not paying attention to the messages they receive on eDavki, and thus is asking all taxpayers to provide an e-mail address to ensure they receive such communication. This e-mail address must be sent to the Administration via the eDavki portal using the eSign-POS form.

Please note that this issue is of extra urgency given that the Administration is set to tighten controls in early 2020.

More information, in Slovene, can be found in a document entitled Oddajanje nepremičnin v turistični najem in DDV (Leasing of real estate for tourism and VAT).

13 Dec 2019, 12:07 PM

STA, 12 December 2019 - The Finance Ministry has drawn up a blueprint for a law introducing government guarantees for housing loans. These would be fully guaranteed up to EUR 150,000 in principal provided the borrower provides 20% in the form of own funds.

Unveiling the proposal in Ljubljana on Thursday, Finance Ministry State Secretary Alojz Stana said the scheme was aimed at the young up to the age of 35, young families and those in fixed-term or precarious forms of employment not older than 40.

A 100% guarantee would be available for housing loans amounting to up to EUR 150,000 in principal with a maturity of up to 30 years, rescheduling included.

The borrower would have to chip in at least 20% in the form of own funds, which is in line with loan requirements of the central bank, Banka Slovenije.

The total amount of guarantees is planned at up to EUR 500 million in principal. The annual amount of funds would be determined in the state budget implementation acts.

The borrower would be able to pick the bank they take the loan from, while the guarantor would be able to pay up to six past due instalments to the bank instead of the borrower.

This option would be available to the borrower several times while the loan was active, but only under condition that liabilities from the recourse claim were settled.

If the guarantee was enforced, the state's recourse claim would be repaid from the proceeds from the sale of the property with the national Housing Fund having the pre-emptive right to buy.

Unofficial information indicates that the ministry is still looking for a solution how to enable the borrower who was unable to repay the loan to stay in the property.

One option would be non-profit rental, but there would be a scope for abuse.

The ministry says that the scheme is aimed at creditworthy borrowers, so it does not interfere with the central bank's tightening of criteria for consumer loans.

However, the ministry hopes that Banka Slovenije may reconsider the consumer lending brake because of the state guarantee scheme.

The ministry expects that the lending terms for state-guaranteed loans would be easier on the borrowers. It hopes that the scheme's impact on property prices would not be excessive.

The scheme would be implemented by the state-run export and development bank SID. Guarantees would be issued for loans hired until the end of 2030.

The blueprint has been agreed with the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning and is expected to be submitted for public consultation in January.

The scheme would be just one of housing policy measures with the main objective being increasing the fund of rental housing. Housing policy measures are to be updated in a new housing loan that is in the pipeline.

Following the central bank restrictions on consumer lending, a state loan guarantee scheme has been proposed by the opposition Democrats (SDS), but the corresponding bill was voted down in parliament.

25 Oct 2019, 10:49 AM

STA, 24 October 2019 - After three years of steep growth, real estate prices started to show signs of stagnation in the first half of 2019. Prices of flats are very close to the record figures seen in 2008, while prices of houses are lagging behind significantly, show data from the Mapping and Surveying Authority.

The average price for a second-hand flat in Slovenia in the first half of 2019 was EUR 1,810 per square metre, which was 1.7% more than in the second half of 2018.

Prices of flats have been growing fast since 2015, when a downward trend finally reverted after the 2008 economic and financial crisis.

Alone in the first half of 2018 the average price for a second-hand apartment increased by nearly 7%, the Mapping and Surveying Authority noted on Thursday.

But the second half of 2018 and the first half of 2019 saw the growth in prices slowing down to 2%, above all due to stagnation of prices in Ljubljana.

The average price for a second-hand apartment in Ljubljana was at EUR 2,780 per square metre between January and June, which was about 0.5% more than in the second half of 2018. The authority says that prices have stagnated in Ljubljana since the beginning of 2018.

Property prices still rising faster on the coast

A different trend was recorded on the coast, where prices of used flats are growing increasingly fast.

Average price for a second-hand flat on the coast, excluding the town of Koper, was at EUR 2,640, over 7% more than in the second half of 2018. This was also the highest growth rate recorded on the coast since 2015.

Data for Koper show that average price of second-hand apartments was at EUR 2,440, 4% more than in the second half of 2018. Prices of second-hand flats around Ljubljana were at EUR 2,180 (up 5%) and in Kranj they were at EUR 2.060 (up 7%).

Prices of houses have also been growing since 2015, albeit slower than prices of flats. Just like in flats, the biggest increase in prices was recorded in the first half of 2018 and growth of prices started slowing down at the beginning of 2019.

In the first half of the year, the average house sold in Slovenia was 169 square metres big, located on an average plot of 910 square metres, with an average price of EUR 127,000.

This compares to an average price of EUR 128,000 for an average house of 162 square metres located on an average plot of 980 square metres sold in the first half of 2018 and to an average of EUR 120,000 for an average house of 163 square metre on a 890 square metre plot sold in the second half of 2018.

In the first half of the year, prices of houses were highest in Ljubljana, costing EUR 286,000 on average, on the coast (excluding Koper) the average price for a house was EUR 264,000, while houses around Ljubljana cost EUR 193,000 on average.

Construction plots cost EUR 56 on average per square metre, which was about 10% less than in the second half of 2018 and some 3% less than in the first half of 2018.

The number of transactions in the first half of the year reached 17,100, which was 2% more than in the second half of 2018. Deals totalled to EUR 1.33 billion, up 11% over the second half of 2018.

Housing property accounted for 54% of all transactions. Transactions with flats amounted to EUR 432 million or 32% of total transactions, while sales of houses amounted to a total of EUR 290 million or 22% of the total transaction value.

21 Oct 2019, 09:04 AM

STA, 19 October 2019 - Notary fees in Slovenia went up slightly on Saturday after more than a decade. Some of the notary fees have not been adjusted to inflation since 2002 and have also gone down several times, according to the Notary Chamber.

The adjustments took effect on Saturday and were set in cooperation with the Notary Chamber after intensive talks, the Justice Ministry has told the STA.

Notary Chamber head Sonja Kralj told the STA that the changes do not concern only the notary fees but also allow revaluation of services and introduce new definitions of individual notary services stemming from the class action act and family law.

In Slovenia, people most often turn to notaries for drafting of contracts and verification of signatures, according to Kralj.

Signature verification fees depend on the value of the contract. For example, the fee for verification of signatures on a contract worth up to EUR 4,590 will increase by a euro to EUR 6.

The drafting of a contract worth between EUR 114,750 and EUR 367,200 has so far cost EUR 275 and will from now on cost EUR 314.

Below is an overview of adjustments of some of the other notary fees in EUR.

Service				          old fee     new fee
Verification of document copies (per page)    1.5          2

Written legal opinion (per page)              23           26

Access to the the property register,
cadastre or the company register              23           26

Signature verification based on contract value

value of contract subject                   old fee      new fee
up to EUR 4,590                                5            6
EUR 4,590-20,655                              14           16
EUR 20,655-68,850                             23           26
EUR 68,850-150,000                            46           52

Source: Notary Fee

In contracts exceeding EUR 150,000, fees increase by EUR 11 (EUR 10 before) for every EUR 50,000 in contract value. However, in total, the fee cannot increase by more than EUR 114 (EUR 100 before).

24 Sep 2019, 12:31 PM

STA, 23 September 2019 - Sales of new housing properties have dropped to the lowest level on record in the second quarter of 2019, according to data released by the Statistics Office. Meanwhile, more than 1,360 second-hand houses were sold this second quarter, the most since the second quarter of 2017. In total, sales reached highest value since 2017.

New flats are on the other side of the spectrum, as only 42 were sold, the least since new real estate sales have been recorded. But faring even worse were new houses, with only 18 of them being sold in the second quarter.

The prices of new housing properties dropped by 3.1% over the first quarter. Prices of new houses went down by 9.3%, while apartments grew by 0.3% after growing by 9% in the first quarter.

On the yearly level, prices of new real estate increased by 3.6%: flats went up by 9.3%, while houses were 6.3% cheaper.

Prices of second hand real estate went up by 1.5% over the previous quarter; houses by 2.5% and apartments by 1%. Compared to the same period last year, prices of second-hand properties were up 2.1%; apartments increased by 2.3% and houses by 1.7%.

In total, EUR 330 million deals were closed, the most since the second quarter of 2017, when the figure reached EUR 354 million.

Prices have gone up by 1.3% in the second quarter compared to the first and have grown by 2.2% compared to the same period last year.

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