One of the most beautiful countries in Central Europe, Austria is every bit a visitors paradise. It has everything - from icy Alps in the West to the picturesque Danube Basin in the East. Austria has been among the leading lights for the European unity and is largely due to its efforts that the European Union, in the modern times, has seen the light of day.
No doubt, Austrian property will always remains on the radar of the global real estate investor. However, it's the cost of living in the country that puts a dampener to their plans. Austria is the most expensive country to live in Europe; this is the reason for investors not to be over-enthusiastic in terms of their investment plans.
High costs notwithstanding, the country is among the top-notch attractions for high-class tourists across the world. The Alps in the western region of the country have always attracted skiing and hiking fanatics from all over the world. Moreover, this mountainous region has tremendous historical significance as depicted through numerous Museums, Galleries, and Historical Buildings.
In fact, Austria's rich historical and cultural heritage is magnificently spread all across the landscape, with the capital Vienna taking the lead having a resplendent Opera House and the former imperial residence of the Hofburg. Salzburg is famous for being the birthplace of Mozart. The whole of Austria was the centre of Cultural Renaissance during the 17th and 18th Centuries, and it's here that the terms like Baroque and The Enlightenment, actually, took shape.
Austria, in modern times, has beautifully blended its cultural heritage with modern marvels in architecture. Visitors are often surprised to see the amount of amalgam contained in every modern city of Austria.
Being a landlocked country, there is little opportunity for aquatic fun. But this void is made up by other numerous land-based activities that you can enjoy within the country. And the adventure is heightened by the inviting climate with pleasant summers and cold winters. With National Parks, Vineyards, and the Alps mountain range, you won't require any other motivation to explore this beautiful country - perhaps download our country guide on Austria to help you on your way.
Buying property in Austria
As highlighted earlier, Austria is the costliest place to live in the whole of Europe. This means that unfortunately, the property scenario in Austria is not too encouraging for the investors of present times. The higher cost of living has, indeed, played a spoilsport for the potential investors. European Union membership notwithstanding, Austria has not seen any surge of investor interest, primarily because of high property prices within the country.
Austria has done well by relaxing the laws in terms of foreign ownership of property, but still buyers want the Austrian government to address the issue of high property prices of every commodity before even thinking of investing in Austrian real estate. Rough estimates indicate that a Studio Apartment is not available in Austria below £50,000 and a 2-bedroom apartment starts from a whopping £70,000 and if you are planning an independent house in Austria, be prepared to shell out at least £180,000 to realize your property. It's not only the price, but also the tax structure that is quite stringent in Austria. Any capital gains on the sale of real estate are taxed as regular income at the exorbitant rate of 34%.
Being a tourist spot, vacation and holiday property around the Alps is your best bet for investment in Austria. A year-round influx of tourists means you have regular rental income from the holiday properties in and around the ski resorts. The majority of the population in Austria live in and around cities like Innsbruck, Salzburg and Vienna, resultantly; these places are the ones to look out for in terms of real estate investment.
If you are prepared to overlook the high cost of living, investment in Austria is not such a bad proposition, as is evidence from the following high-points of the country -
Stable political system
Relatively one of the safest places in Europe
First-class health facilities
The country comprises Germans and Italians as the primary groups of foreigners who have either settled down here or made Austria their second home destination.
The restrictions for non-EU foreign investors are more stringent than the EU ones. Thus, the Brits will find the going easier as far as the legalities and administrative procedure pertaining to owning a property in Austria is concerned.
The countries peculiar real estate laws means that all foreign investors should seriously consider hiring an expert real estate agent or a local attorney to take care of all the official formalities entailing the registration of property. The expert help will also come in handy if you decide to finance your property purchase through a local Austrian bank.