Guide to Buying Property in Croatia as a Foreigner

One of Europe’s top second-home destinations, Croatia draws international interest with its beautiful beaches, vineyards, and the most intricately indented coastline in the world. By Martina Petrina

Buying a property in Croatia is exciting, but it’s by no means easy. Everything from the local economy to your financials to the real estate market in Croatia will impact what property you buy and how much it costs. When it comes to the cost of living, Croatia is more affordable than 54% of the countries in the world. The more you know about the current real estate trends in Croatia and the process of buying a property, the better you will be able to navigate your choices. 

So, before you get started, what do you need to know? This guide will walk you through the most important steps and tips for buying property in Croatia as a foreigner.

Is Croatia a good place to buy a property?

 

Croatia is a good place to buy a property due to its beautiful coastline, warm climate, delicious foods, and rich natural resources. It is the 4th most expensive country to live in Eastern Europe, however, buying property in Croatia can be a great investment opportunity for its tourism potential. It is a very attractive spot for expats, real estate investors, entrepreneurs, and retirees from all around the world. It’s easy to see why, as this country of wonderful food, meaningful history, and vibrant landscape has many alluring attractions. Whether you’re interested in Croatia’s most popular cities like the coastal town of Split, the vibrant capital Zagreb or the historical town of Dubrovnik, or want to invest in the country’s stunning rural parts, mountains near many World Heritage Sites – there is a plethora of great places to buy a property in Croatia.

Can foreigners buy property in Croatia?

 

Yes, foreigners can buy property in Croatia especially if they live inside of the EU/EEA. From 2009, the citizens of all EU/EEA Member States are eligible to buy a property in Croatia under the same conditions as Croatian citizens. However, there are quite a few restrictions for those living outside of the EU and British expats. The good news is that you can still be eligible to buy a property in Croatia if your country has an agreement of reciprocity with Croatia. This means that if a Croatian Citizen has the right to buy a property in your home country then you have the right to buy a property in Croatia. 

Rules for buying property in Croatia as a non-EU/EEA national

 

  1. Your country must have a reciprocity agreement with Croatia. 
  2. You should seek consent from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before the sale is finalized (this takes two to six months). Without this consent, the foreign owners could not register their purchased property.
  3. You can also purchase the property through the company route especially if you are planning to rent the property or further invest in your property. In this case, the owner of the property is the company, not the company owner himself.
  4. You can’t buy any agricultural lands, protected properties, cultural monuments, and forests. You can only purchase agricultural land using a Croatian company.

Rules for buying property in Croatia as an EU/EEA national

 

  1. You citizen can purchase residential property without obtaining consent from the Ministry of Justice.
  2. If you are a Swiss citizen, you must enclose proof of temporary stay together with the rest of the required documentation when applying for entry into the land registry. 
  3. You can’t buy any protected properties, agricultural lands, cultural monuments, and forests. You may only purchase agricultural land using a Croatian company.
  4. You can only rent out through a company.

Can a US citizen live in Croatia?

 

There are a number of ways US citizens can live in Croatia, and one of them is as a property owner. When you buy a property in Croatia as a US citizen, you can be granted temporary residence that allows you to stay up to 6 months in the year plus the 3 months you’re permitted to stay as a tourist. According to Croatian law, you won’t be able to work, but you can re-apply for it every year. For the United States, reciprocity agreements are defined depending on the state you come from. The Croatian Ministry of Justice will determine your rights according to your last permanent residence in the US.

 

If you’re interested in buying a property in Croatia, we’ve got a guide through the popular locations. Check it out here

Is Croatia good for expats?

 

Croatia is good for expats, entrepreneurs, and retirees, for its high level of security, breathtaking Adriatic coastline, connection to main European destinations, and mild climate. It offers a low cost of living and several visa options that allow expats to stay and potentially work in the country. For many expats, the cost of living in Croatia has proven to be refreshingly affordable, especially in terms of health care and education. When living in Croatia, you can be treated to a variety of leisure activities, ranging from mountain biking, swimming, hiking to diving. Although being an expat in Croatia has its pros and cons, many emigrants still look at its low-cost lifestyle over the challenges.

Is property expensive in Croatia?

 

Generally speaking, properties in Croatia are quite affordable in comparison with other European countries. However, the amount you’ll pay depends on the property type, whether or not the property has been recently renovated, and location. Properties in the old town, city center, or seafront houses will always be priced at a premium, especially in attractive coastal regions like Dalmatia and Istria. For the Croatian capital Zagreb, the approximate price per square meter is EUR 2,000. On the outskirts of cities, and in unpopular regions, you’ll find a lot more affordable properties.

How expensive are houses in Croatia?

 

From summertime with plenty of sun to wintertime chills out in vibrant cities such Zagreb, Split, or Dubrovnik, this country is more than grabbing attention for real estate investments. To give you a ballpark of what houses in Croatia may cost below is our quick pricing guide depending on the city

 

Average house prices by the city in Croatia:

  • Dubrovnik Houses – 4.117 € per square meter
  • Split Houses – 3.122 € per square meter
  • Zadar Houses – 1.577 € per square meter
  • Rijeka Houses – 1.473 € per square meter
  • Zagreb Houses – 1.368,75 € per square meter
  • Osijek Houses – 731 € per square meter

New Stone House near Dubrovnik, 900.000€ | Knez Real Estate

Is land expensive in Croatia? 

 

Prices for building land in Croatia vary depending on the region and size, but in general land in Croatia is not expensive. The land plot can cost you anything from 300.000€ for 1139 sqm on Korčula island up to 2.520.000€ for a 21 000 sqm plot near Dubrovnik. Also, agricultural lands are forbidden from purchasing by anyone who is not a Croatian citizen by 2023.

Check out our selection of building plots for sale in Croatia

Is there property tax in Croatia?

 

There is no property tax in Croatia except for holiday homeowners. However, there is a real estate transfer tax. That is if you acquired real estate in Croatia, and such acquisition was exempt from value-added tax (VAT), you should pay a real estate transfer tax. The real estate transfer tax rate equals three percent of the real estate market value at the moment of its acquisition.

Is Croatia a good place to retire?

Croatia is one of the safest countries in the world and also affordable which makes it a good place to retire. It is pretty clear why many expats find Croatia charming. Favorable property prices, the availability of idyllic locations, and inhabited islands have made Croatia a hotspot for those looking to retire on its sun-soaked shores. It also has many historical sites throughout the country. Although there is no retirement visa in Croatia, instead they offer a Temporary Residence Permit allowing you to live in Croatia. Also, retired expats can get a temporary residency permit by buying a property in Croatia. If you’re on the hunt for your dream home, finding the right real estate agent makes all the difference. 

Need help buying real estate in Croatia?

 

If you need help in buying a property in Croatia as a foreigner, we can help! We have carefully vetted a network of real estate agents who can assist you in property acquisition in Croatia with confidence.

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