Very few people are aware that investments in Slovenia are much more profitable, compared to investing the same amount in the United States or the United Kingdom. Slovenia property investments have potential for higher returns on your hard-earned lifetime savings than other markets. With the guidance of a professional experienced in Slovenian markets, you would be able to benefit from the opportunities existing in Slovenia for maximizing your returns. When you mention property investment in overseas markets, the initial reception is usually skeptical. When you take this topic further by saying that investments in Slovenia are more profitable compared to the property market in California, you are most likely to shock most of the people.
For example, if you say that you had bought a housing property in Slovenia for $500,000, the initial comments would most probably be, “Slovenia? Is it a town or a country? I have never heard of it”, “Don’t you think buying a house in Slovenia is a risky affair?”, and “I am convinced that you are not acting in an intelligent manner.” Some of the comments could be even harsher. On the other hand, if you state that you have invested $1,000,000 in a waterfront property in a remote area in California, people would unanimously agree that you had made a wise decision. In reality, which of the above two investments is riskier? How to decide whether property investment in new overseas markets like Slovenia is riskier or safer than an investment in native California?
It is true that many real estate investors in various countries had neither heard of Slovenia or the opportunities that this little known neighbor of Italy offers in the property field. Slovenia joined the European Union in 2004 and recently adopted euro as its currency. It would be interesting to know that Slovenia possesses the highest per capita GDP in the Central Europe region, according to the CIA World Factbook. Further, the infrastructure of this country is one of the best and the workforce is also quite well-educated. Like most global countries, properties appreciated significantly between 2004 and 2007. However, the worldwide recession after the bursting of the real estate bubble in the middle of 2008 in the United States affected Slovenia also to a certain extent. Still, the country had managed to recover and is now on the growth path again. The present GDP growth rate is around 5%, the highest for any new member state of the European Union.
Slovenia Real Estate Market
Data released by the Statistical Office of Republic of Slovenia (SORS) reveal that property values rose at an annual average of 1.3% between 2004 and 2007 but declined after that. During the first quarter of 2009, the prices of houses on sale in second-hand market dropped by 7% from the same period in 2008, while the fall in real terms was at 8.7%. The real estate prices in the capital city of Ljubljana collapsed by 8% in nominal terms and 9.6% in real terms, while the decline was 6.8% in nominal terms and 8.5% in real terms in the rest of the country during the first quarter of 2009. This had brought down property prices, which is not a negative point but a positive factor. You could buy properties at lower rates right now.
Investment Opportunities in Slovenian Properties
The biggest assets of Slovenia are its valleys blooming with vineyards, the breathtaking coastlines, the snowy peaks of Alps and the rolling hills, the numerous rivers, and beautiful waterfalls. These features had made Slovenia a major tourist attraction, with possibilities for rental properties thriving financially. At the same time, the slump in property values and the possibility of significant appreciation in this decade make this country a prime location for real estate investment. After the setback of 2008, the Slovenian economy had been recovering at a faster rate than several other European and North American nations. A recent survey voted Slovenia among the top 10 countries offering best opportunities in real estate investment.
According to the survey, the growth rate of property values in Slovenia are forecast to increase at an astonishing rate of 284% on an average, between 2010 and 2020. The annual rate of real estate price growth is estimated at 30% at present. As such, investment in real estate of Slovenia is considered as a long-term, safe and solid proposition. Do you know that you would be able to buy a few hectares of prime land covered with vineyards and having a medium-sized 2-bedroom house for a low price of 80,000 euros or about $100,000? The interesting fact is that nearly 40% of Slovenia has land covered with vineyards and it is a major wine-producing nation. Even the properties in major cities of Slovenia, such as Ljubljana and Maribor cost only around 1,500 to 3,000 euros or $1,800 to $3,600 per square meter.
Procedures of Investment in Slovenia Real Estate
Apart from the several registered real estate operators in Slovenia, the local laws explicitly permit people from the United States and European Union to buy properties in Slovenia without any restriction. It would take about a month to complete all the formalities required to buy a property. With certain stipulations, you could also avail financing and mortgaging options but it is advisable to finance your purchases out of your own resources, if you want to maximize the returns on your investment.
It is obvious that a property investment in Slovenia is likely to be more profitable as a long-term venture when compared to the same amount being invested in the United States or other countries in the European Union, where the economic growth rate is still sluggish. The present growth of Slovenia promises better returns in this decade than any real estate investment in these countries. As such, it could be safely concluded that your investment in Slovenian real estate would prove to be more profitable than a similar investment in several other countries right now and much less riskier.
Taylor White is an international real estate investor and leading the charge at International