Buying real estate in Croatia?

We've created a guide to help you avoid pitfalls, save time, and make the best long-term investment possible.

Buying a property in the Croatian Islands: a complete guide

Last updated on 

All sources have been thoroughly verified for credibility. Furthermore, a local real estate expert has reviewed and approved the final article.

property investment the Croatian Islands

Yes, the analysis of the Croatian Islands' property market is included in our pack

Considering buying a nice property in The Croatian Islands? You're not alone!

Many people are fascinated by the Croatian Islands' Adriatic allure and dream of owning a sea-facing villa or a modern apartment there.

Does it make sense from a financial perspective, though? Are property prices increasing on the Croatian Islands? What is the current trend? Should you consider investing in Hvar or Korčula? What are the property taxes? Which places offer rental yields exceeding 7%?

We know the answers.

The Investropa team has done their homework on this market. As a matter of fact, we've gathered all our findings in a pack. Get it now.

In the lines below, we'll share useful information and some practical tips.

How is the property market on the Croatian Islands?

Are property prices booming or faltering? Instead of relying on opinions, we turn to hard data and stats for clarity

Property types

Properties for sale in the Croatian Islands encompass a diverse range.

These include charming seaside villas with stunning ocean views, cozy cottages nestled amidst lush landscapes, modern apartments in bustling towns, and traditional stone houses exuding historical charm.

Whether seeking a tranquil escape or a vibrant coastal lifestyle, potential buyers can explore options like waterfront properties, historical homes, contemporary residences, and idyllic rural retreats across these picturesque islands.

Better to buy or rent?

(If you plan to use it yourself and not as a rental)

If the Croatian Islands have captured your heart as your destination of choice, you might be considering whether it's better to buy a property or opt for renting in this Mediterranean paradise.

Generally, buying is a better choice than renting in Croatia's Islands due to the potential for capital appreciation and the ability to generate rental income.

Nevertheless, if flexibility is your main concern, renting is the recommended choice.

Property prices on the Croatian Islands

On average, according to the updated data from Croatian Bureau of Statistics, buying a property on the Croatian Islands would cost you around $7,000 per square meter.

Of course, there are noticeable differences. A waterfront property on the Croatian Islands might have a higher price per square meter than an apartment in Split. We actually give you a more detailed breakdown in our pack for buying property on the Croatian Islands and in Croatia.

To give you a better idea, it is 2.7 times less than the prices in the center of New York.

Also, housing prices on the Croatian Islands are 7% cheaper than in the Greek Islands.

The most expensive places on the Croatian Islands are probably Hvar, Vis, and Korčula, while the cheapest are the smaller islands such as Lastovo, Mljet, and Šolta.

the Croatian Islands Property Price per Square Meter


First and foremost, we have to acknowledge that Croatia is, today, a country with a lot of stability. The last Fragile State Index that has been reported for this place is 49.3.

Don't ignore this when weighing the pros and cons of buying a property on the Croatian Islands.

Moreover, Croatia's economy is expected to soar by 11% in the coming 5 years, resulting in an average GDP growth rate of 2.2% (IMF forecasts).

If you want to invest in real estate on the Croatian Islands it's a good thing because individuals are becoming wealthier, leading to a probable rise in housing prices.

Also, in Croatia, the average GDP per capita has changed by 20.6% over the last 5 years. Very few countries have achieved superior results.

These are positive signals showing that property prices on the Croatian Islands might increase in 2024 and during the coming years.

Looking for more updated data? We've done a big-picture study to find out if it's a good idea to purchase property in Croatia right now.

Buying property on the Croatian Islands

It can be difficult to buy property on the Croatian Islands due to the lack of reliable and up-to-date information available. That's why we have created the pack to buy property on the Croatian Islands and in Croatia.

Buying process

In our pack, we've explained the entire process of buying properties in a detailed way. We've pointed out the mistakes to steer clear of, shared tips for finding properties that give you the best returns, and provided information about taxes and necessary documents.

Now, we're giving you a simplified version of the buying process.

This is the step-by-step process to purchase a property in Croatian Islands:

  1. Research the property market on specific Croatian islands like Hvar or Brač.
  2. Hire a licensed local real estate agent who knows the island's regulations.
  3. Obtain the property's ownership certificate (vlasnički list) from the Land Registry.
  4. Engage a solicitor to perform necessary due diligence and verify urban planning information (lokacijska informacija).
  5. Sign a preliminary contract (predugovor) and pay a deposit (usually 10% of the property price).
  6. Obtain an OIB (personal identification number) from the Croatian tax authorities.
  7. Secure financing from a Croatian bank or transfer funds to cover the purchase.
  8. Sign the final sales contract (ugovor o kupoprodaji) before a public notary (javni bilježnik).
  9. Pay the remaining balance and the real estate transfer tax (3% of the property value).
  10. Register the property at the relevant Land Registry office (Zemljišna knjiga).
  11. Obtain approval from the Ministry of Justice for foreign buyers (for properties outside of regulated areas).
  12. Celebrate your successful property purchase in the breathtaking Croatian Islands!

Also, if you're not from the country, you might want to check our article on how to buy property as a foreigner in Croatia.

Make a profitable investment in the Croatian Islands

Better information leads to better decisions. Save time and money. Download our guide.

buying property in the Croatian Islands

Where to find a property

Discover properties in the Croatian Islands with the help of these websites:

  • Real Estate Croatia - Providing real estate listings and services in Croatia, with a focus on new developments and luxury properties near the sea.
  • Indomio - A mobile-friendly real estate portal in Croatia, offering property listings with advanced filters and a map-based search feature.
  • CroEstate - An extensive real estate portal in Croatia offering a variety of properties for sale and rent, including seafront properties, villas, apartments, and land plots.
  • Century 21 - A comprehensive real estate portal dedicated to facilitating property transactions in Croatia.
  • Re/max - A leading real estate company providing a wide range of property services, including buying, selling, and leasing residential and commercial properties.

Also, know that we have included contacts of real estate agencies, property lawyers, moving companies, expats communities and more in our pack for buying property in Croatia.

What you could get

As mentioned before, the average price per sqm on the Croatian Islands is $7,000. A 1-bedroom property with 60 square meters of space would cost approximately $420,000, while a 2-bedroom property with 85 square meters of space would cost approximately $595,000.

However, the amount you pay for a property can be different based on its characteristics and where it's found.

Investing in real estate on the Croatian Islands' prime locations often comes with a heftier cost. A house in Hvar might come to around $1,320,000, whereas a house in Brač could be priced at $1,230,000.

However, there are also places that won't strain your finances as much. You might encounter an apartment in Zadar for $230,000, or you could find an apartment in Rab priced at $190,000.

We give more details about property types and areas in our full pack for buying property in Croatia.

Risks and pitfalls

Here are the main pitfalls when buying a property in the Croatian Islands:

  • Unresolved landmines and remnants from past conflicts in certain areas.
  • Unclear coastal boundaries due to intricate maritime laws.
  • Potential challenges in obtaining building permits due to strict regulations.
  • Risk of purchasing property built illegally, especially in tourist-heavy regions.
  • Possibility of falling under local community co-ownership laws without proper understanding.
  • Unanticipated restrictions on renovating old stone houses protected as cultural heritage.
  • Issues with water supply during dry seasons, particularly on more remote islands.
  • Vulnerability to coastal erosion and sea-level rise affecting property value and stability.

We don't want this to happen to you, so we have included a full checklist for your property investment in our pack of documents. Avoid these mistakes and save a lot of money.

real estate Croatia

Everything you need to know is included in our Croatia Property Pack

Living on the Croatian Islands

Living on the Croatian Islands is a dream come true for those looking to experience a peaceful and tranquil lifestyle surrounded by stunning natural beauty.

Cost of living

The cost of living on the Croatian Islands can vary depending on the island and the time of year. Generally, it is more expensive than mainland Croatia, but still quite affordable compared to other European destinations.

Here are some examples to better understand the cost of living in Croatian islands:

  • Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the historic district of "Stari Grad," Hvar: $800 per month.
  • A meal at a local restaurant with "Peka," a traditional Dalmatian dish: $25.
  • Monthly ferry pass for island hopping between Vis and Korčula: $60.
  • Utilities (electricity, water) for a small apartment in "Bol," Brač: $90 per month.
  • A glass of "Pošip," a popular white wine from the island of Korčula: $7.
  • Entrance fee to the "Blue Cave" on Biševo Island: $15.
  • Monthly gym membership in "Supetar," Brač: $35.
  • A bottle of "Maraschino," a cherry liqueur produced in Zadar: $20.

Areas and spots

We want to show information in an easy-to-understand way. So, we made a list that explains the various parts of the Croatian Islands. For yields, prices and rents, check our property pack.

Place Description Strengths Weaknesses


Dubrovnik, also known as the "Pearl of the Adriatic," offers a blend of historical charm and stunning coastal views, making it a highly attractive location for property investment.

Strong tourism industry, UNESCO World Heritage sites, high demand for rental properties.

High property prices, overcrowding during peak tourist seasons.


Hvar Island boasts beautiful beaches, a vibrant nightlife, and a growing reputation as a luxury destination, making it a promising spot for property investment.

Increasing popularity among affluent travelers, picturesque landscapes.

Seasonal economy, limited infrastructure in some areas.


Brač is the largest island in central Dalmatia, featuring lovely coastal villages and numerous opportunities for outdoor activities, attracting property investors seeking a serene location.

Appealing natural surroundings, good ferry connections to the mainland.

Limited air connections, relatively slow-paced development.


Korčula Island, reputedly the birthplace of Marco Polo, offers a charming old town, vineyards, and a sense of authenticity, making it a unique investment option.

Rich cultural heritage, potential for agrotourism ventures.

Limited accessibility, fewer tourist amenities compared to larger islands.


Split is a major urban center on the Dalmatian coast, known for its ancient Roman architecture and vibrant atmosphere, attracting property investors looking for city life with a historical touch.

Strong local economy, year-round rental potential, cultural events.

Urban congestion, limited space for new developments.


Vis Island offers a tranquil retreat with secluded beaches, unique caves, and a slower pace of life, making it a desirable destination for property investors seeking exclusivity.

Untouched natural beauty, potential for luxury villa rentals.

Limited accessibility, fewer amenities compared to larger islands.


Šolta is a peaceful island close to Split, known for its olive groves, vineyards, and charming fishing villages, appealing to property investors interested in a laid-back lifestyle.

Tranquility, potential for agrotourism development.

Less developed infrastructure, limited direct transportation links.


Lošinj Island is a haven for nature lovers, featuring lush greenery, clear waters, and a mild climate, making it an attractive spot for eco-friendly property investments.

Rich biodiversity, health tourism opportunities.

Relatively higher property prices, seasonal economic activity.


Rab Island is known for its sandy beaches and historic town of the same name, appealing to property investors interested in tourism-oriented opportunities.

Beautiful beaches, popular tourist destination.

Seasonal economy, limited space for large-scale developments.

Life on the Croatian Islands

The Croatian Islands have a strong and growing economy, with a focus on tourism, agriculture, fishing, and other services. The islands are also becoming increasingly attractive to foreign investors, as they offer a variety of tax incentives to businesses.

What expats usually like the most on the Croatian Islands are the stunning landscapes, crystal clear waters, and vibrant nightlife. They also enjoy the delicious local cuisine, such as fresh seafood dishes and Croatian specialties like sarma and pašticada.

Access to healthcare on the Croatian Islands is generally good, with a range of hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies located throughout the islands.

Don't lose money on your property in the Croatian Islands

100% of people who have lost money in Croatia have spent less than 1 hour researching the market. We have reviewed everything there is to know. Grab our guide now.

invest real estate in the Croatian Islands

Renting out on the Croatian Islands

If you're considering purchasing property solely for renting and earning income, you'll find valuable information in this section.


According to the data reported by Wikipedia, the home ownership rate in Croatia is 91%, which is very high.

When people buy on the Croatian Islands it's usually to live there, and not to rent out (or at least not to long-term tenants).

If you decide to rent out long-term, you might want to target people looking for a holiday home in Croatia, such as retirees, couples, and families, who are interested in a peaceful and relaxed lifestyle on the islands.

Here is a little summary table we've made for you.

Property type and area Profiles of potential tenants What they are looking for Expected monthly rent in $

Apartment in Hvar

Tourists, travelers

Seaside location, tourist attractions

$500 - $1500

Villa in Korčula

Families, retirees

Quiet island life, cultural experiences

$800 - $2500

Studio in Brač

Artists, digital nomads

Inspiring landscapes, peaceful surroundings

$300 - $800

House in Vis

Retirees, nature lovers

Untouched nature, outdoor activities

$600 - $1500

Now, you will probably ask us about the yields. Unlike for other places, it would be difficult to give you the average rental yields for the Croatian Islands due to insufficient long-term rental properties available for analysis. Also, it's quite diverse. For example, rental yields in Hvar and Korčula are quite different from those in smaller isles.

Finally, know that, in the Croatian Islands, the taxes stand around 10% of the total rental income (it's not much!).


You could also decide to rent short-term to tourists looking for a beach holiday on the Croatian Islands, or to business travelers attending meetings in the larger cities on the islands.

If you decide to go with that option, look for properties in Dubrovnik, Split, and Hvar. These are the best areas on the Croatian Islands for short-term rentals due to their high demand from tourists.

Is it worth buying real estate in the Croatian Islands then?

Buying property in the Croatian Islands is a fantastic idea if you're seeking long-term value and personal enjoyment. The islands offer breathtaking natural beauty, a rich cultural heritage, and a serene lifestyle. If you're planning to use the property for vacations or retirement, investing here can provide you with a peaceful haven. Additionally, Croatia's stable political environment and anticipated economic growth indicate the potential for your property to appreciate in value over time.

Moreover, if you aim to generate rental income, the Croatian Islands are ripe with opportunities, especially in tourist hotspots like Dubrovnik, Hvar, and Split. You can expect rental yields exceeding 7% in some areas. Croatia also offers tax incentives to investors, making it an attractive destination for those looking to diversify their portfolio.

However, be prepared for a complex buying process and potential risks, such as unresolved landmines and seasonal income fluctuations.

In summary, buying property in the Croatian Islands is a brilliant move for long-term investment, personal use, or rental income, but it's crucial to be financially prepared and navigate the intricacies of the buying process carefully.

If you prioritize flexibility and short-term gains, renting might be a more suitable choice in this idyllic Mediterranean paradise.

Make sure you understand the real estate market in the Croatian Islands

Don't rush into buying the wrong property in Croatia. Sit, relax and read our guide to avoid costly mistakes and make the best investment possible.

real estate market the Croatian Islands

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and does not imply endorsement or advice. While we strive for accuracy, we do not guarantee the completeness or reliability of the information, including text, images, links, or other elements in this material. Following the content and analyses presented here does not assure specific outcomes. For guidance tailored to your individual circumstances, it is recommended to consult with a professional, such as a lawyer, accountant, or business advisor.