If you’re looking for an opportune time to sell city apartments in Austria, then you would be excited at how well the country’s real estate market in doing. And if your property is situated in Vienna, you’re almost certain to get a great price for it, given the great interest in the city. Let’s look at the facts.
Knight Frank put out a report recently where it stated that even as real estate prices slumped all over Europe since 2008, prices in Austria have only risen and continue to rise. They are now 34.7 percent higher than in 2008. In Vienna, the capital of Austria, the numbers are even more staggering – prices here have risen by 55% since 2008!
Peter Marschall, who heads the Vienna-based Marschall Real Estate, says, "We did not have a recession. In 2008 it was a little bit slow, and nothing happened, but after that it went up and up."
But today, demand is quite strong. Vienna has become very attractive to overseas buyers and real estate prices in the city are definitely picking up, with luxury apartments selling for several million dollars. As Marschall explains, "I know this price is nothing compared with London, but we were very happy".
Vienna is one of the most desirable places to live in Europe, which has been at the top of every quality-of-life conducted over the last decade or so. The quality of local health services and schools here can only be described as excellent.
Richard Buxbaum, who heads residential sales at Otto Immobilien, a top estate agent in Vienna says it is the city’s lifestyle that attracts buyers: "It is the school system, the culture, it is the political stability." Not to mention Vienna's excellent parks, galleries, museums and theatres.
Maria Spalt, also from Otto Immobilien, says over 50% of her buyers are from abroad, with most of them being Germans. Germany, as our readers are aware share a border with Austria and speak the same language, so there is a lot of commonality between the two nations. New investors are coming too, from emerging markets in Eastern Europe, Middle East and Asia. Some Britons and Americans have also shown interest.
As Maria explains, "Some people who work east of Vienna have their family homes here, for the schooling and for the security, and they commute to work. It is safer and a better standard of living than in Moscow, and they love the fact that they can go about without bodyguards."
For overseas buyers from European Union countries such as Germany and Britain, buying property in Austria is really quite simple. They only have to spend around 10 percent of the sales price on taxes and related costs. There is no capital gains tax required to be paid to the government after selling the property, but they have to give 3.5% of the sales price to the government – which actually ends up costing them less.
But for investors who are not from the European Union, buying property here is a bit more complicated. They would need to get government permission, which they can only get if they work in the country or have business interests.
One way out is to buy property in Austria through a company set up in the European Union with a subsidiary in Vienna, in which the property buyers have 100% of the shareholder rights. If you’re looking to sell city apartments in Austria, then perhaps hiring the top UK estate agents with extensive ties with such foreign investors would make sense.