Buy a house in Croatia

Croatia is a popular destination among expats, retirees, and entrepreneurs, thanks to its beautiful Adriatic coastline, good European connections, and warm climate. The country has much to offer in terms of real estate; there are plenty of bustling cities and beautiful remote natural areas.

In terms of cost of living, Croatia is more affordable than 54% of the world's countries. The more you know about current real estate trends in Croatia and the process of buying a property, the better you will be able to make your choices.

But does the process of buying real estate in Croatia look like, and especially for foreigners? In this article we will discuss the main points to consider, suggesting pricing, legal information and much more.

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Is Croatia a good place to buy real estate?

If you are buying real estate in Croatia for the first time, you should know that EU residents can buy property in exactly the same way as Croatian citizens. So, in basic terms, there is no difference in the purchase procedure of a Croatian citizen and an EU resident. Should the property be so "unique", or protected as a monument, this may sometimes differ.

How expensive is real estate in Croatia?

In general, real estate in Croatia is quite affordable, compared to other European countries. However, the price depends a lot on what you buy, considering the type of property, location, whether the property has been recently renovated etc. Properties in the old town, city center or by the sea are always more expensive, especially in attractive coastal areas such as Dalmatia and Istria. For the Croatian capital Zagreb, the price per square meter is about 2,000 euros. On the outskirts of cities and in less popular/touristy regions, you will find much more affordable housing.

What does an average house in Croatia cost?

Prices for a villa in Croatia usually start at around € 500,000,-. For this amount both ready-to-use villas as well as villas that still need some work but have great potential to create added value. Even the (private) investor can succeed in Croatia.

To give you an idea of what houses in Croatia can cost you will find below our quick price guide, depending on the city. The average house prices per city are as follows:

  • Dubrovnik: € 4,117,- per m2
  • Split: € 3,122,- per m2
  • Zadar: € 1,577,- per m2
  • Rijeka: € 1,473- per m2
  • Zagreb: € 1.369,- per m2
  • Osijek: € 731,- per m2

How expensive is land in Croatia?

Until the beginning of 2023 it is forbidden to buy agricultural land, for anyone who is not a Croatian citizen, however, this rule says nothing about buying land with the purposes of building. Prices for building land in Croatia vary depending on the region and size, but in general, land in Croatia is not expensive. A plot can range from 300,000 euros for 1,139 square meters on the island of Korčula to 2,520,000 euros for a 21,000 square meter plot near Dubrovnik.

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Are there property taxes in Croatia?

There is no property tax in Croatia, except for vacationers. However, there is a transfer tax; if you bought a property in Croatia and this purchase was exempt from VAT, you must pay a transfer tax. The transfer tax is 3% of the market value of real estate at the time of purchase.

Rules for buying a property in Croatia

As a resident of the EU, you can buy a property in Croatia without needing permission from the Ministry of Justice. However, you cannot buy protected and agricultural land, cultural monuments, and forests. Agricultural land can only be bought, and property can only be rented out through a Croatian company.

What does OIB stand for?

OIB (Osobni identifikacijski broj) is a personal identification number. Croatian citizens and foreigners making financial transactions in Croatia must have that number. If you have a bank account and pay taxes, you need OIB. It is necessary to have OIB if you want to buy real estate in Croatia. Once you apply for the identification number, you can get it within minutes, depending on how busy the office you apply to has it. Having an OIB is important if you plan to sign a contract in Croatia (OIB is a mandatory part of any contract in Croatia, so often even in a property purchase contract in Croatia).

How do you open a bank account in Croatia?

You need your passport or ID card and your OIB to open a bank account, you must do this as soon as you wish to live in Croatia. Most banks do not send passwords and PINs abroad, many do not take this into account and thus cannot receive them "back home in the Netherlands." You will also probably need to sign a few things regarding your privacy and GDPR consent.

Are you looking for a property?

It is possible to submit your active search query to ConnectHouses. The platform has a unique and diverse network of a large number of real estate agencies across Europe.

Based on your criteria ConnectHouses specialists can actively search for that one unique home you have always dreamed of. Our specialists often get a different offer than what is publicly available. This is due to the exclusivity on the housing market, which often occurs in countries like Croatia, regardless of the price range. We therefore have access to the "silent market".

Then you can choose to go through the purchase process yourself with the support of a ConnectHouses buying agent, or to go through it yourself with one of our affiliated real estate agencies.

Interested in submitting your search query to ConnectHouses and curious what such a process looks like? Contact one of our colleagues at info@connecthouses.com, we would love to help you find your dream home!

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