STA, 18 May 2022 - The Slovenian property market saw a record year in 2021 in terms of increase in prices and the number of transactions involving land for residential buildings, with the commercial property market also being revived. The Surveying and Mapping Authority (Geodetska uprava) has reported more than 37,000 transactions worth a total of EUR 2.9 billion.
The number of transactions in apartments and houses increased by about 20% last year compared to 2020 and was higher than the figure for the pre-epidemic year 2019.
The increase mainly owes to the record sales of houses, caused by the growing demand for houses outside urban centres, shows the report by the Surveying and Mapping Authority on the Slovenian property market for 2021.
Last year, the market for land for residential construction "virtually exploded", the report says, noting that compared to 2020, the number of transactions in land for houses and multi-apartment buildings was up by approximately 45%.
In the tourist centres in the Slovenian Alps, the number was up by more than 80%, in the southern suburbs of Ljubljana by about two-thirds, in Ljubljana and Celje by about 60% and in Maribor by about 45%.
According to the report, the record number of land transactions is expected to be followed by an accelerated expansion of housing construction, which has in the last three years been notable in the capital, but also in other parts of the country.
Prices of apartments in multi-apartment buildings increased by 15% last year, while prices of houses were up by 13%. Land for construction of residential buildings was meanwhile 12% more expensive than in 2020.
The growth in prices of residential property is the result of excess demand, with the supply of new buildings gradually catching up, the reports says.
The high demand for residential property for own use, and especially as an investment, is still being largely driven by low interest rates and accessibility of loans, and, more recently, by the growing fears of increased inflation.
Putting additional pressure on the property prices is the high growth of construction costs due to the global rise in energy prices and building materials due to the Covid-19 pandemic and, as of recently, the war in Ukraine.
The report notes that, considering the prices and the volume of new construction in Ljubljana, a peak of the property cycle is near, as the market supply will exceed demand that could be backed by solvency and sales will be slowing down.
A general decline in demand for residential property could also be triggered by a rise in interest rates that is expected in the near future, while a turnaround in the price trend is not expected until supply exceeds demand.
The report notes that the number of transactions with commercial property increased by approximately 30% last year, but the number was nevertheless still some 10% lower than in the pre-Covid year 2019.
A PDF of the full report, in Slovene, can be found here
STA, 25 March - The prices of residential real estate jumped by 15.7% in 2021, which is the highest annual rise since 2007, when a 20.4% rise was recorded, the Statistics Office said on Friday. Up the most were the prices of new apartments, which increased by 20.2%.
The prices of second-hand apartments were 18% higher, the prices of second-hand houses went up by 11.9% and new family houses were 3.1% costlier.
The total value of all residential real estate sold last year was up by almost a third compared to 2020 to EUR 1.6 billion. A total of 13,440 houses and apartments were sold, which is about 16% more than the year before, when transactions were the lowest in the last seven years because of Covid-19.
In the last quarter of 2021, residential real estate prices were up by 4.6% compared to the previous quarter, with the prices of second-hand apartments going up by 5.3% and of used houses by 3.3%.
The prices of second-hand apartments went up the most in quarterly comparison in Maribor, by 6.8%, while in Ljubljana they increased by 4.5%.
New apartments and houses cost 12.9% more than in the third quarter, with the prices of new apartments rising by 4.9% and of new houses by 3%.
Transactions with houses and apartments in the last quarter totalled EUR 448 million, which is about 19% more than in the previous quarter and 36% more than in the final quarter of 2020. A total of 3,550 houses and apartments were sold or some 6% more than in the previous quarter and 15% more year on year.
A total of 3,500 second-hand apartments and houses were sold for EUR 430 million, which is up 17% in quarterly and 40% in annual comparisons.
In addition, 96 new houses and apartments were sold for some EUR 18 million, which is double the value of transactions in the previous quarter and down 20% compared to the final quarter of 2020.
STA, 10 March 2022 - The opposition Left (Levica) has tabled a bill introducing a tax on empty and large houses and apartments to tackle the shortage of homes as estimates show that there are about 175,000 empty apartments around the country.
According to the party, real estate agents estimate that around 30% of all real estate transactions are purchases of real estate as an investment. "This trend is the consequence of an absence of any kind of housing policy and inappropriate taxation of real estate," the party said.
It noted that revenue from taxes on real estate and other assets were "shamefully low" in Slovenia, accounting for just 1.8% of all tax revenue, while the OECD average is 5.7%.
Estimates show that there are 175,000 empty apartments in the country, while there is demand for 30,000 public apartments that would be offered for rent, the Left said.
The new tax would be paid by real estate owners and could not be transferred to tenants or other users of the real estate.
The tax would be calculated based on the value of the real estate as determined in the mass appraisal of real estate. If the owner or their close family members permanently resided in the building, 120 square metres of residential surfaces would be deducted from the figure, meaning people living in such or smaller apartments would not pay the tax.
The bill proposes different tax rates for real estate depending on their use, with the highest rate envisaged for empty real estate.
STA, 31 December 2021 - Housing prices have risen rapidly since the market rebound in March with soaring demand underpinned by low interest rates and the availability of credit. The Surveying and Mapping Authority (GURS) says that price growth is not expected to taper off until the supply of new housing outstrips demand.
Prices of residential property have risen sharply this year and by the third quarter they were up by 12.9% at the annual level, according to Statistics Office data.
Prices of second-hand flats in multi-apartment buildings rose by around 8% in the first half of this year from the end of last year. This marks the highest six-month price growth since the 2008 housing market crisis, GURS notes in its report on the Slovenian real estate market.
The record growth was driven by the prices of flats in multi-apartment buildings in the largest cities, with the exception of Ljubljana. In Koper, Kranj, Celje and Maribor, prices thus jumped by 10%-12%.
In Ljubljana, which remains the most expensive city, prices rose by 6% in the first half of this year, reaching new record highs: the median price of a second-hand apartment on Ljubljana was EUR 3,250 per square metre.
The acceleration in residential property price growth is also reflected in the residential property price overvaluation indicators, Slovenia's central bank Banka Slovenije noted in its report on the performance of banks for December.
"Most of the overvaluation indicators already reflect a overvaluation of property prices of around 10% relative to the dynamics of other macroeconomic indicators," the central bank wrote.
Although nominal prices have already surpassed the 2008 peak, real prices are still around 10 percentage points behind.
The rapid price growth has been driven by strong demand, underpinned by low interest rates, readily available credit, and limited supply of new-build properties, according to GURS.
They added that low interest rates were encouraging both purchases of property for own use and investment purchases.
Rising prices are also increasingly affected by rising land prices, and indirectly by rising construction costs due to the global increase in transport and building material prices.
In the first half of 2021, GURS recorded 20% more sales of land for the construction of residential buildings than in the second half of last year, and 90% more than in the first half of last year.
"The accelerated growth in demand for land for the construction of residential buildings points to a strong demand for the construction of apartments for subsequent sale on the market and the construction of family houses for own use," they explained.
The number of transactions involving land for the construction of residential houses even exceeded the number of sales of residential houses themselves in the first half of the year.
The central bank also notes that household lending has picked up since the first quarter of this year with the year-on-year growth in housing loans reaching 8.1% in October.
In its macroeconomic outlook for December, the central bank notes that the gap between supply and demand was particularly pronounced, especially in larger cities. It therefore expects residential property investments to strengthen.
"We estimate that stronger demand will continue to be one of the key drivers of housing construction and development, given the buoyant labour market and favourable credit conditions," they wrote.
Similarly, GURS notes that the supply of new housing is still lagging behind demand practically everywhere in Slovenia, despite the fact that more new residential properties are coming to market.
"The growth in housing prices is not expected to stop until the supply of new housing outstrips demand, and the time required to sell new housing becomes significantly extended, or inventories of unsold housing start to build up," they said.
"So far, despite record prices, most of the newly built residential properties in the biggest cities and popular tourist destinations are still being sold before they are even built," according to GURS.
STA, 23 December 2021 - The prices of residential property increased by 2.8% in the third quarter of the year on a quarterly basis, and by 12.9% year-on-year, which is the highest price increase on an annual basis so far, the Statistics Office announced on Thursday.
After dropping in the second quarter of 2021, the prices of new residential property rose again, by 3.3%. The prices of new apartments were up by 4.3% and the prices of houses increased by 0.6% after a significant drop in the second quarter.
In the third quarter of the year, the prices of second-hand apartments and houses combined increased by an average of 2.7% on a quarterly basis. The increase was slightly higher for second-hand apartments than for second-hand houses.
At an annual level, the prices of residential property were up on average by 12.9%, which is the most since the first quarter of 2008, when the prices rose by 11.8%.
The highest growth in prices was recorded for new apartments (17.9%), followed by the prices of second-hand apartments, second-hand houses and new houses.
The total value of residential property sold in Slovenia in the third quarter of the year was EUR 378 million, which is 18% less than in the second quarter and almost equal to the total value of transactions in the same quarter in 2020.
After a notable increase in the second quarter, the number of transactions with residential property was down to 3,359, but this was still above the long-term average of 2,900 transactions.
STA, 29 November 2021 - The newspaper Večer writes about the "vicious circle" of soaring prices of residential properties in Slovenia in Monday's commentary, finding that for many home ownership is becoming out of reach.
The piece, headlined Vicious Circle [Rast cen nepremičnin: V začaranem krogu], notes that 94% of residential real estate in Slovenia is in private ownership, and now the question is how to buy a home given the soaring prices.
"After the latest hikes in real estate prices with up to over 8,000 euro (!) per square metre in Ljubljana, it is clear an ever smaller circle of people can afford a property [...]
"We have entered a vicious real estate circle that many do not see a way out of," writes the paper, noting that only this year prices in some locations have risen by 40% compared to 2015 and used flats cost almost as much as new ones.
The paper notes that young people buying their first home or families that would like to move on getting a child are pressed hardest. "If they do not have savings or have won a lottery, buying a roof over your head is all but mission impossible today."
It is no easier renting a flat considering the lack of rental housing. "For non-understandable reasons the state is holding back construction of rental housing that could in the future at least partly mitigate the raging of property market prices."
STA, 17 November 2021 - The prices of apartments and houses have been rising rapidly since the real estate market started recovering in March. In the first half of the year, they rose by around 8% year on year, the highest six-month growth since the 2008 real estate crisis, according to the Surveying and Mapping Authority (GURS).
The prices were pushed to a record high level in the first half of 2021 by the record high rise in prices of apartments in multi-apartment buildings in major towns, except Ljubljana.
In Koper, Kranj, Celje and Maribor the prices jumped by 10-12%, GURS says in today's report on the real estate market in the January-June 2021.
The median price for used flats in multi-storey buildings at national level reached EUR 1,980 per square metre.
After exceeding EUR 3,000 per square metre for the first time ever in the second half of 2020, the median price for Ljubljana apartments stood at EUR 3,250 per square metre in the first half of this year. The record growth in the capital was achieved in 2018, when the prices surged by 15% year on year.
At the coast, the median price of used apartments was EUR 2,700 per square metre, in Kranj EUR 2,520, in the northern and southern Ljubljana area EUR 2,500, in Celje EUR 1,600 and in Maribor EUR 1,550.
"The high growth in housing prices is on the one hand driven by strong demand, encouraged by low interest rates and the availability of money, and on the other hand by limited supply of new-build properties," GURS said, adding that low interest rates encouraged both purchases of properties for own use and as investment.
The prices are being inflated also by the rising prices of building land, and indirectly construction costs as a result of globally rising prices of transport and construction material due to the pandemic.
The high prices of apartments are also driving an increase in demand for construction land, and a construction expansion. "This is the most evident in Ljubljana, where the current and planned construction of new housing buildings can already be compared to the pre-crisis period before 2008," GURS said.
GURS expects housing prices to continue to rise until the supply exceeds the demand. At the moment most new apartments in major towns and tourist areas are sold before they are built despite the record-high prices.
In the first half of 2021, transactions in flats and building land were level with the second half of last year, at 8,350, which is almost 30% higher than in the first half of 2020, which was marked by the Covid-19 pandemic. Compared to the first half of 2019, they were down by 5%, GURS said.
Since the start of 2019, the transactions were up the most in the second half of 2020, by almost 30% compared to the first half of 2020.
At the start of 2021, transactions were first down somewhat, reaching a second bottom since the start of the epidemic in February (the first being recorded in April 2020). Real estate started selling again after the third wave of the epidemic in March. At the end of the first six months, translations already exceeded pre-epidemic figures.
STA, 25 October 2021 - A new housing estate called Novo Brdo was inaugurated in Ljubljana on Monday. Located in the south-western part of the city, it is set to become one of Ljubljana's largest neighbourhoods, where 498 vulnerable families and individuals are to be housed.
Črtomir Remec, the director of Slovenia's Housing Fund, said that the Novo Brdo estate is "the second part of a trilogy of investments" made possible by a EUR 50 million loan from the Council of Europe Development Bank.
"The Novo Brdo neighbourhood project, which also marks the Housing Fund's 30th anniversary, was carried out in cooperation with the Ljubljana Municipality and is the largest among the projects that recently provided a total of 1,887 new housing units," he added.
In addition to the new housing units for young people already provided in Ljubljana this spring, Remec announced that another 212-apartment neighbourhood in Maribor is due to be completed next year.
Remec also announced a new cycle of 10 projects with 906 planned housing units that is being lined up, for which the Housing Fund will seek a new loan from the Council of Europe Development Bank.
"A home is a commodity whose value is certainly best understood by those who do not have it," Environment and Spatial Planning Minister Andrej Vizjak said at today's opening ceremony, adding that these are most often young families and individuals dealing with housing issues for the first time.
"It is the responsibility of every government to plan housing policies in such a way that every individual or family is provided with adequate housing within a reasonable time frame," added Vizjak.
He said that he would like to see more such inaugurations, and not only in Ljubljana, but especially in smaller Slovenian municipalities and regions that are experiencing population decline.
The main objective of the housing strategy is therefore to provide additional public rental housing. It is estimated that around 10,000 additional housing units are needed in Slovenia. "The government plans to be able to provide around 5,000 by 2026," added Vizjak.
Today's opening was also attended by Rolf Wenzel, the governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank, who highlighted the Novo Brdo project as a concrete example of one of the bank's main tasks - financing the construction of social or affordable housing.
In the Novo Brdo estate, the Housing Fund expects to provide for a higher living standard, as they want to accommodate several different generations. All the buildings are therefore designed to accommodate young people and families as well as the elderly, they said.
The estate will also host various public services, such as a library and shops, as well as an open outdoor space with plenty of green areas, children's playgrounds and a pond.
Learn more about the project on the official site (Slovene)
STA, 23 September 2021 - Residential property prices rose by 4.5% in the second quarter of the year on the quarter before in the most substantial hike in ten years. The value of transactions was the highest on record, official statistics show.
Data released by the Statistics Office for second quarter shows prices of existing homes (apartments and family houses) in the country rising by an average 4.7% on the quarter before; apartment prices were up by 5% as family houses came 4.2% costlier.
Meanwhile, prices of new homes dropped by 0.7% as prices of newly built family houses fell by 8.5% after an 8.6% increase in the first quarter. Prices of newly built flats rose by 2.6%.
The most substantial hike in prices of second-hand flats was recorded in Ljubljana, at 5.4%, with a 4.1% hike recorded in the rest of Slovenia and a 3.9% rise in Maribor.
Year-on-year, prices of all types of residential properties rose by 9.9% on average where again the biggest increase affected second-hand flats, at 11.2%, and second-hand family houses, at 9.3%, with newly built flats going up by 8%.
Newly built family houses came 2.6% cheaper in a year.
The total value of transactions in all types of homes throughout the country was EUR 459 million, about EUR 162 million more than in the previous quarter and the highest value on record.
A total of 3,993 transactions were recorded, the highest number since the second quarter of 2017. The bulk, 3,927 were second-hand properties. The value of those transactions was a record high of EUR 446 million.