Slovakia: A Buyer’s Guide

Slovakia is home to a steadily growing economy and has one of the largest GDPs of any of the central European nations. It’s growth and stability mean that it has a growing property market with plenty of foreign investors buying in the country.

Bratislava is naturally first choice for many overseas property investors, and with demand outstripping supply in the city, capital appreciation is high and rental yields are good. Following EU accession, prices are looking to rise even further. Slovakia is slowly emerging as a tax haven for many Europeans – a flat tax of just 19% means that there is increasing interest in moving to the country for tax reasons, and this means that property prices in the country are likely to continue on their upward trend in the near future.

The Buying Process
As of 2004, there are hardly any restrictions on foreign property investors buying property in the country, with the exception of forest and agricultural land. Thanks to EU accession, the buying process is now a fairly simple process although as with any foreign property purchase, it is advisable to hire a local lawyer who can ensure you adhere to all the local laws as well as helping you complete the necessary paperwork correctly, and in a timely manner.

Once you have found a property in Slovakia that you wish to purchase, a contract must be drawn up. This is they signed by the vendor and buyer in front of an authorised notary. At this stage, a deposit will need to be paid – expect to pay around 20-30%. The contract is the sent off to the local Land Registry office so that the property can be signed over in the land book.

Once the property has been signed over, the remainder of the property price must be paid, and all bills settled. Although fees will vary from place to place and transaction to transaction, it is wise to budget around 3% of the property purchase price for taxes and fees. There is no purchase tax on properties in Slovakia.

Mortgages in Slovakia should be fairly easy to come by for foreign investors – although banks will normally only lend up to around 65% of the purchase price. Interest rates are around the 6% mark.

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