STA, 7 August 2020 - Preliminary data by the Surveying and Mapping Authority indicate about a 40% drop in both the number of deals and turnover in real estate in the first half of 2020. Prices of used flats meanwhile continued to grow, by 3% compared to the second half of 2019, taking the average square metre price in the country above EUR 1,900 for the first time.
The data, released on Friday, show 10,800 transactions were registered in the first six months in a total value of EUR 770 million. This is a 40% drop for both figures compared on the second half of 2019 and a 40% and 45% decline respectively year-on-year.
The Surveying and Mapping Authority said that in the face of an almost complete market freeze during the lockdown, it decided to publish the preliminary data even though a fair part of deals for the first six months had not yet been registered and processed for proper market analysis. Final data will be released in October.
The body estimates that the actual year-on-year decline in the number of deals and in turnover will be between 35% and 40%. It pointed out that 2019 had seen record figures, mostly due to an unusually high number of deals involving commercial real estate.
As for the continuing rise in the prices of used flats - by 3% on the second half of 2019 and by 7% year-on-year - the Surveying and Mapping Authority noted a similar phenomenon had been seen in 2008.
"In such circumstances it is only the better and fairly expensive flats that continue to get sold and their prices are not decreasing yet due to market inertia," the experts wrote, while pointing out that the market picked up again in May as the epidemic was declared over.
Housing property accounted for almost 70% of total turnover in the first half of the year, up significantly on previous years and even above the 66% recorded in 2015. Between January and 15 July, 5,450 transactions were recorded, a 37% decrease on the second half of 2019 and 36% year-on-year. Turnover for new flats was down by more than 70%.
The number of recorded transactions with land suitable for construction on the other hand fell by only a third compared to the first and second half of 2019, while the number of deals involving farm and forest land decreased by about half.
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STA, 7 July 2020 - Since Croatia entered the EU in 2013, Slovenian citizens purchased a total of 9,439 properties in the country, which makes them the most numerous foreign owners of real estate in Croatia in that period.
Unofficial estimates meanwhile put the total number at 110,000, mostly houses or apartments on the Croatian coast, as the bulk of them were bought during the times of the former Yugoslavia.
Citing data from the Croatian Tax Administration, Večernji List says that there should be no concern in Croatia that the Slovenian government would prohibit its citizens from entering Croatia.
Slovenia will not be restricting its citizens in going to the neighbouring country during the Covid-19 pandemic because it will protect the interest of property owners, the Croatian newspaper adds in a report on Tuesday.
When it comes to purchases of real estate in Croatia in the last seven years, Slovenians are followed by Germans (4,969), Austrians (2,867), Italians (1,612), Swedes (1,232) and Hungarians (949).
According to the Croatian Tax Administration, only around 4,400 foreign owners are officially leasing their real estate to tourists and pay tax for that.
Večernji List says that the state body has no complete data on real estate owners in one place, and that precise data will be obtained after a census, which is planned in Croatia next year.
STA, 16 June 2020 - Reflecting on the housing market in Ljubljana, the business daily Finance points in Tuesday's commentary to the simultaneous increase in newly available flats and the pending drop in purchasing power.
The building of apartments was sped up quite noticeably last year, with more than 988 multi-unit buildings being completed, almost double the 2018 number.
By far the largest number of new flats appeared in Ljubljana. And while people were complaining a few years ago that the focus was only on high-end housing, quite a few "normal" flats are being built in the capital now.
A problem may however appear on the demand side, the paper says, pointing to bleak economic forecasts for this year and the fact that few people can afford to buy an apartment as it is.
The price growth of flats in Ljubljana stopped already last year. Given the simultaneous rise in supply and decrease in purchasing power - even if the Surveying and Mapping Authority says that demand still exceeds supply, prices could also fall.
"Considering all this, we might soon no longer be wondering who will buy a flat costing EUR 5 million but will buy one for EUR 150,000," Finance says in the commentary, entitled Who Will Buy a Flat for EUR 5m?
The 2019 Real Estate Market Report, published by the Surveying and Mapping Authority of the Republic of Slovenia, shows that property prices continued to grow last year.
In 2019 the prices of apartments across the country broke the previous record set in 2008. In Ljubljana, however, the record was already broken in 2018.
The national average for a square metre of an apartment was €1,850 in 2019, 2% higher than the national average in 2008.
Since 2015, housing prices have risen steadily. The highest price growth was recorded in 2018, when the prices of second-hand flats were, on average, 9% higher than in the previous year, despite the decrease in the number of sales. In 2019 housing price growth continued at a slightly lower rate.
Apartment price averages in euros per square meter:
The average price of a residential house with land belonging to it in Slovenia was EUR 128,000 in 2019, 3% higher than in the previous year and 19% higher than in 2015. Since 2015 the average area of homes sold has increased significantly, while their average age and the area of land they come with have not changed significantly. Taking into account the characteristics of the houses sold, it has been estimated that house prices at the national level have grown by 15 to 20% in real terms since 2015, while compared to 2018 they have remained virtually unchanged.
Average price for a house in EUR:
Sometime in the next week or so every adult and foreigner with permanent residency in Slovenia will be eligible for a €200 tourism voucher (turistični boni), and every child one worth €50, as a way to kickstart the summer season, when the industry will be relying on domestic tourists more heavily than usual. The “vouchers” can be used to pay for accommodation, and will be claimed by giving your Slovenian tax number to the provider (at least for the adults – it’s unclear, as yet, how the children will get theirs).
The money can be used at any businesses registered under the following categories:
- 55.100 - Hotels and other similar accommodation
- 55.201 - Holiday homes and resorts
- 55,202 - Tourist farms with rooms
- 55.203 - Renting private rooms to guests
- 55.204 - Mountain lodges and youth hostels
- 55,209 - Other short-term accommodation
- 55.300 - Camping activities
It’s in this context we’re presenting the following five properties in Soča, Bled, Bohinj and Kranjska gora - the home of holiday homes in Slovenia - all of which are on the books of Slovenia Estates and available for short-term rental as part of the scheme, and all of which come with an additional 10% discount for all weekly reservations made by end of June for all stays in June, July and August.
So take a look at the five properties below, two photos for each, click through to see more of the stylish interiors, learn more about the location, and start planning your next vacation.
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If you'd like to see some other properties around Slovenia, available for sale or rent, in various locations and for various budgets, check out our real estate page
STA, 29 May 2020 - The total value of real estate transactions in Slovenia reached a record level last year, estimated at EUR 2.7 billion, as prices continued to grow, albeit at a slower pace than in 2018, shows a report from the Surveying and Mapping Authority (GURS).
GURS, which notes that the record amount should be attributed to several sell-and-lease-back contracts for shopping centres, says in the report that real estate prices exceeded the previous peak in 2008.
According to preliminary data, around 35,500 transactions were recorded last year with their total value approaching EUR 2.7 billion. It is expected that the final number will exceed 36,000 and their total value to stand at EUR 2.7 billion.
This will be the highest annual amount since real estate transactions started to be systematically recorded in 2007.
"Compared to 2015, the number of transactions with real estate was up by more than 20%, while their total value increased by almost 60%," shows the 2019 report.
The record value is attributed to a steep rise in the value of transactions with commercial real estate, which exceeded half a billion euro. Its share in the total value, which usually stands around 10%, was up to more than 20%.
The value of transactions involving residential real estate was up by 10% compared to 2018 to EUR 1.59 billion, of which transactions with apartments amounted to EUR 951 million. The number of transactions was up by 1% to around 10,750.
The number of transactions with second-hand apartments was up by 1.5% to 10,160, while the number of new apartments sold was down by a third to 600. This is well below the annual average for the 2015-2017 period of more than 1,000.
"The number of new apartments which entered the market in 2019 was not even close to sufficient, and a majority of new apartments which will satisfy the demand is expected to built by the end of 2021," the report adds.
Growth of the prices of second-hand apartments slowed down last year, with the average price per square metre standing at EUR 1,850, which is nevertheless 5% more than in 2018, and 28% more than in 2015, when the trend reversed.
In Ljubljana, where the prices of apartments were the highest for the last three years, exceeding the previous peak in 2018, the average price of a square metre in a second-hand apartment was EUR 2,800, up 1% year-on-year.
The average price of a house was EUR 128,000, or 3% less than in 2018 and 19% more than in 2015. Considering the features of houses sold, GURS has estimated that their prices at the national level have increased by 15-20% since 2015.
GURS notes that this year, the real estate market will be significantly affected by the coronavirus epidemic, during which "transaction stopped and it is clear that the 2019 trends are history."
STA, 8 April 2020 - Businesses which had to close their doors due to the coronavirus lockdown have been left without revenue. To add to their woes, many need to pay rent and running costs. Some landlords have decided to help them by deferring rent, others are still deciding what to do.
Small businesses selling non-essential goods and providing various services, as well as bars and restaurants were forced to close shop in mid-March, and many of them warn that they might not be able to re-open at all.
Many of them find it difficult to pay wages for March, let alone rent and utility costs.
Owners of shopping centres and malls have come up with different solutions for the problems of their tenants, and all of them stress that this is the first time they have encountered such a situation.
The retailer Tuš said it had not decided yet whether to lower rent, while Spar said that the "situation requires a great deal of adjustment and understanding, but we believe that we will find optimal solutions in the spirit of good cooperation."
Supernova, the Austrian-owned shopping mall operator, said it was in constant contact with tenants, making individual arrangements. "We want to balance out the consequences, as one side must not bear all the consequences, be it the tenant or the landlord."
SES Slovenija, which operates the shopping malls Citypark, Citycenter, Europark and Aleja, with the last one yet to be opened, has admitted that the crisis has taken them by surprise, and that many issues remain open.
The company has allowed its tenants to defer rent and operating cost for April. "By doing so we want to help entrepreneurs maintain their liquidity, even before the state adopts measures to support commerce and before this aid takes effect."
It added that additional support measures for salvaging Slovenian retail, services and hospitality companies were not excluded, but this would depend on the financial support from the state and the duration of the restrictive measures.
As for Aleja, which was supposed to open on 19 March, SES Slovenija said that individual solutions were being sought with tenants. "All partners will be able to defer payment of rent from the date of the planned opening to the date of actual opening."
The company would like to see the state come up with a plan for re-opening shops and individual branches of industry, as this would help all stakeholders organise and optimise costs.
The Slovenian Chamber of Commerce (TZS) will, according to its president Mariča Lah, publish this week an assessment of the situation in commerce, which will serve as basis for a proposal to re-open shops selling technical goods.
Rent could be tackled by the additional anti-corona legislative package, which is being drafted by the government.
The TZS has proposed a model for distributing the burden, under which the state would cover around 70% of rent, and the payment of the remaining amount would be agreed between the owner and tenant.
Under this model, landlords would not be able to terminate contracts due to the non-payment of rent, which would be applied retroactively as of the day when the epidemic was declared, 12 March.
SES Slovenija added that retail, as one of the largest employers in the country, had been severely affected and that comprehensive measures would be needed. It proposes that the state subsidises write-offs of goods which could not be sold.
The company also proposes that the state provide grants to businesses for the costs incurred during the closure and for a certain period after the closure (rent, insurance premiums, leasing instalments and utility bills).
STA, 7 April 2020 - The real estate market has slowed down as measures to restrict the spread of the coronavirus epidemic have been introduced, with deals concluded only retroactively and property inspected only on-line. Real estate agencies have seen a significant drop in turnover, which they hope will be compensated after the epidemic ends.
Agencies say that clients have not abandoned their intentions to buy or lease real estate, and that the true impact of the crisis would depend on the duration of the epidemic and the purchasing power after it.
Boštjan Udovič, the head of the Real Estate Association at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS), has told the STA that real estate agencies are currently only providing services which could be provided without physical contact with clients.
Some real estate agencies have completely suspended their work, and "turnover has dropped significantly", he said. It will be possible to compensate for this after the epidemic ends, but this will depend on the general economic situation and purchasing power.
The real estate agency Stoja Trade is concluding contracts retroactively for deals agreed on before the measures were introduced. "Instead of inspections in person, we send interactive video clips of real estate to our clients," director Zoran Đukić has told the STA.
Zoran Veleski of Mreža Nepremičnin added that the number of calls from potential clients and demand in general had dropped in comparison with recent months, "which is understandable, as people are dealing with other priorities".
While the number of transactions is dropping, prices remain stable. "Everybody is waiting for quarantine to end, and prices will depend on the duration of quarantine," he assessed.
The short-term lease market is practically dead, as tourist visits have ground to a halt. "Many real estate units, which had been intended for temporary lease to tourists, are now empty. Some of them have already been placed on the market," Udovič said.
He believes that this, if the state fails to take quick measures, will not result in growth of the long-term lease market, as owners still almost exclusively decide to rent their real estate for less than 12 months for one reason or another.
Đukić expects a slight market correction when it comes to rental real estate because of the apartments which used to be leased via Airbnb. "There will be no major changes in the prices of rents, but the crunch will ease."
According to Udovič, the key will be the developments in the first months after the end of the epidemic, as turnover on the real estate market largely depends on the economic and financial state of the country and consumer confidence.
"If they reduce their consumption out of caution, the real estate market will suffer a huge blow," he said, adding that the state had taken measures aimed at preventing such consequences relatively quickly.
Stoja Trade has established that clients have only postponed the planned transactions, as a majority of clients are waiting for quarantine to end, and "if this does not take too long, major changes are not expected due to the specifics and small size of the market".
Đukić also expects that, considering the situation on stock markets and financial markets, people will continue to opt for safer investments, including real estate, which keeps its value in the long run.
Veleski agreed that real estate is one of the safest investments, but he also assessed that the situation on the market will depend on the duration of the lockdown measures and the drop in GDP.
"We can only hope that the government will support the economy with measures similar to those in other EU member states and that it would not leave the construction sector high and dry again," he added.
The experts have assessed that the measures from the EUR 3 billion legislative package to aid the economy and individuals will be useful, adding that it is understandable that it was not able to tackle all issues.
Udovič expects additional measures in the coming weeks, which would be focused on keeping the economic activity running. "From the aspect of real estate, care for an investment momentum after the end of the epidemic will be of particular importance."
He also expects that if the situation permits, the government will start easing up on the restrictions related to certain services, including real estate agencies.
Veleski noted that in addition to wages and social security contributions, companies have many other costs which they are not able to cover for months if their turnover is zero.
"The passed legislation is certainly beneficial also for our activity. I have concluded based on talks with agents and many others who are not part of our team, that they will be able to survive these few months," he added.
STA, 30 March 2020 - Housing prices increased by 5.2% in 2019 in what was the fifth consecutive year of growth, show data released by the Statistics Office on Monday. The number of real estate transactions was up 4%, mostly on account of sold used flats, while the value of the deals amounted to EUR 1.3 billion, an increase of roughly 6% on 2018.
The continuation of growth came after the housing market started recovering in 2015 with 0.1% growth to then see prices rise by 6.9% in 2016, by 10% in 2017 and by 9.1% in 2018, said the office.
The total number of real estate deals made last year was 13,682, which is a 4% increase on 2019 but 8% less than in the record year 2017.
The office pointed out that the sale of new units had been very modest for two years now, while the sale of used units was going strong, with 3,458 transactions recorded in the last quarter of 2019 alone for a record total amount of EUR 340 million.
Used flats accounted for 2,141 transactions in the last quarter of 2019, which compares to only 107 new housing units sold for a total of EUR 18 million. The latter was still an increase on 70 units sold in the third quarter.
The prices of new flats have seen fluctuations in the past four years, but a clear growth was recorded. In the last quarter of 2019 they were 26.9% higher on average than in 2015.
The prices of used housing units fell in the last quarter of 2019 for the first time after 15 consecutive quarters of growth. They were down by 0.2%, but merely on account of a 3.6% decrease in the prices of used houses as used flats were 1.7% dearer. In Ljubljana, used flats were 0.4% more expensive.
Year-on-year, the biggest increase in prices was seen in the last quarter for new houses (10.9%), followed by used flats in regions other than the capital (7.1%), new flats in general (6.3%), used houses (3.8%) and used flats in Ljubljana (3.2%).
STA, 20 March 2020 - With tourism grinding to a halt as the country fights the coronavirus outbreak, Slovenia could learn some lessons regarding housing policy, including that the market should not be trusted just about everything, Dnevnik says in Friday's commentary.
The commentary notes that people who lease their apartments via Airbnb have quickly realised that they will have no turnover whatsoever as tourist visits to Ljubljana steeply dropped with the arrival of coronavirus.
They have started advertising one- to two-month leases, and then also for longer periods, but of course, in the time of quarantine and self-isolation, this did not help either.
Real estate agencies are closed, people are locked in at home and no one is looking for an apartment if this is not really necessary. Completely unrealistic expectations of owners are another problem.
No one knows when the situation will normalise, and when it does, much time will need to pass before tourists fill up Ljubljana again, Dnevnik adds in Airbnb Apartments Are Now Good for Locals.
As for many people renting apartments to tourists is the principal activity, and not only a side business, these individuals, as well as many others in the tourism and hospitality industry, are in a difficult situation.
It seems that a majority of people feel no empathy towards real estate owners who earned money via Airbnb, and there are even calls that they should show their social responsibility by renting out their empty apartments to medical staff for free.
"The people's reaction is understandable, but it would be wrong to succumb to anger at this moment. Reason tells us that if we learned something from this crisis, it is that not all bets should be placed on the market."
For this reason, the state needs to regulate apartment renting via Airbnb, create conditions for an orderly rental market, and build public rental apartments as a priority. This would be a precious measure during the recovery period.
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