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How to make a good property investment in Romania

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

Whether you prefer a historic mansion in Bucharest, a stylish apartment in Cluj-Napoca, or a high-yield rental property in the picturesque landscapes of Transylvania, Romania offers a wide array of real estate opportunities to suit your investment preferences.

However, making a property investment in this country can be challenging, especially with all the new laws and regulations involved.

We're committed to breaking down everything you need to know in a way that's easy to grasp, making it simpler for you. If you have any lingering questions, please feel free to get in touch with us.

Also, for a more detailed analysis, you can download our property pack for Romania, made by our country expert and reviewed by locals.

How is investing in real estate in Romania?

Is Romania an attractive destination for property investment?

Romania has emerged as a notable destination for property investment for several reasons, drawing the attention of both domestic and international investors.

The Romanian real estate market is dynamic, a claim substantiated by significant growth in recent years.

For instance, the country experienced a notable increase in real estate transactions, with a 15% rise in residential sales in major cities compared to previous years. This data point illustrates the market's vibrancy and potential for growth.

Historically, Romania's real estate market has shown resilience and steady growth. Like many countries, it faced challenges during the global financial crisis of 2008, but it has since recovered robustly.

The market has seen a consistent upward trend, especially in urban areas, with increasing demand for both residential and commercial properties.

In terms of investment opportunities, certain property types and regions have shown particularly strong performance. Residential properties in major cities like Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, and Timisoara are highly sought after. The demand is driven by a growing urban population and an increasing number of international companies setting up offices in these cities.

Mid-range apartments in well-connected urban areas tend to offer good returns due to high rental demand. Additionally, the commercial sector, particularly office spaces and retail properties, has seen significant growth, fueled by the expanding services sector and e-commerce.

One unique and positive aspect of the Romanian property market is the prevalence of historic and architecturally distinctive properties, especially in cities like Brasov and Sibiu.

These properties offer a blend of historical charm and modern amenities, attracting investors who are looking for something beyond the standard urban apartment.

Regarding stability and safety for investment, Romania offers a relatively stable environment. The country's integration into the European Union has brought about regulatory alignment and increased economic stability, making it a safer bet for foreign investors.

The legal framework for property ownership and investment is robust and aligns with European standards, providing reassurance to investors.

Knowledge of the local language, while beneficial, is not a necessity for investing in Romanian real estate. Many real estate agents and legal professionals are proficient in English and can facilitate transactions for non-Romanian speaking investors.

However, having some understanding of Romanian can be advantageous, especially when dealing with local authorities or in understanding legal documents.

What are the trends forecasts for the real estate market in Romania?

The Romanian housing market, like many others, is influenced by a mix of local and global factors.

Currently, one of the key trends is the rising demand for housing, especially in major cities like Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, and Timișoara. This is fueled by urbanization, as more people move to cities for employment and educational opportunities.

The demand is particularly strong for new, modern apartments, which are preferred over older, Soviet-era housing blocks.

On the supply side, there's been an increase in new construction, but it's often not enough to meet the growing demand. This mismatch can lead to rising property prices, making it increasingly difficult for first-time buyers to enter the market.

Additionally, construction costs have been going up, partly due to global increases in the prices of materials, which also contributes to higher property prices.

Regarding the future, several factors could influence the Romanian real estate market. Interest rates are a significant factor. If they rise, this could cool down the market by making mortgages more expensive, which would decrease the number of potential buyers.

On the other hand, if rates remain low, the market could continue to thrive.

Political and economic stability are also crucial. Romania, being a part of the European Union, benefits from various economic policies and funding, which can enhance its real estate market.

However, any political instability or significant changes in economic policies could impact investor confidence and the overall market.

Looking at government policies, any changes in taxation related to property, such as changes in property tax rates or capital gains tax on property sales, could significantly impact the market.

Additionally, policies aimed at encouraging home ownership, such as subsidies for first-time buyers or lower VAT rates for new constructions, could stimulate the market further.

Furthermore, global economic trends and geopolitical events can also influence the Romanian market.

For instance, the ongoing tension between the EU and Russia, or the global economic recovery post-COVID-19, could affect investor confidence and economic stability in Romania, thereby impacting the real estate market.

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What types of property can you buy in Romania? What are the prices and yields?

If you need a detailed and updated analysis of the prices, rents and yields, you can get our full guide about real estate investment in Romania.

Investing in property in Romania offers a variety of options, including residential, commercial, and land investments.

Building a new property is certainly feasible, although it requires navigating local regulations and construction standards.

When it comes to residential properties in Romanian cities, the average cost can vary widely depending on the city and specific location within the city. For example, properties in Bucharest, the capital, are generally more expensive than those in smaller cities.

The price per square meter in central areas of major cities can be significantly higher than in suburban areas.

In terms of ownership versus renting, there is a mix in Romania, with a substantial portion of the population owning their homes.

However, renting is also common, especially among younger people and in urban areas. This leads to a market where buying to let can be a viable investment strategy.

The rental yield potential in Romanian cities can be attractive. In major urban centers, there is a consistent demand for rental properties, driven by both local residents and an expatriate workforce. This demand is bolstered by the student population in cities with universities.

Tourism significantly impacts the property market, especially in terms of short-term rental demand. Popular tourist destinations see a higher demand for short-term rentals, which can drive up prices and yields for properties in these areas.

This trend is particularly noticeable in cities known for their historical significance or natural beauty.

Reselling property in Romania can be straightforward, but it depends on the property's location, condition, and market conditions at the time of sale. The real estate market in Romania has been growing, but like any market, it experiences fluctuations.

The typical holding period for property investments can vary. Some investors look for short-term gains, holding properties for just a few years, while others adopt a long-term approach, holding their investments for a decade or more.

Capital gains prospects also vary. In growing urban areas, where demand for housing is increasing, the potential for capital gains can be higher. However, this is subject to economic conditions and local market trends.

Which regions in Romania offer the best investment opportunities?

Foreigners looking to buy property in Romania often find a diverse market, catering to various tastes and investment strategies.

The country's real estate landscape attracts different types of foreign buyers, from those seeking holiday homes to investors eyeing rental income or capital appreciation.

Popular regions among foreign buyers include Transylvania, Bucharest, and the Black Sea coast.

Transylvania, known for its medieval towns like Brasov and Sibiu, appeals to those interested in history and culture.

Bucharest, the capital, attracts investors due to its economic dynamism and higher rental demand.

Coastal areas like Constanta are favored for holiday homes, thanks to their beautiful beaches and resorts.

Budget-friendly and investment-worthy regions include smaller cities like Cluj-Napoca, known for its thriving tech industry, and Timisoara, with its growing economy and cultural vibrancy. These cities offer a good balance between affordability and potential for appreciation, making them attractive for long-term investments.

Trending areas in Romania include the Banat region, gaining attention for its development and quality of life, and the Danube Delta area, increasingly popular for eco-tourism. These regions are witnessing growing interest, which could translate into higher property values and rental demand in the future.

Each region has its pros and cons. For instance, Bucharest offers high rental demand but also comes with higher property prices and a more competitive market.

Transylvania offers cultural charm and lower prices but might not yield as high rental income.

Coastal areas provide seasonal rental opportunities but may not have year-round demand.

Predicting future trends, areas around major universities and tech hubs like Cluj-Napoca could see increased demand due to the influx of students and professionals.

Additionally, regions with infrastructure development projects, like improved transport links, are likely to become more accessible and attractive, potentially boosting property values.

Regions to be cautious about include areas with low economic activity or declining populations, as these factors can lead to stagnating or decreasing property values.

Additionally, areas prone to environmental challenges, like flooding, should be approached with caution.

Here is a summary table to help you visualize better. If you need more detailed data and information, please check our property pack for Romania.

Region Characteristics Pros Cons
Transylvania Medieval towns, historical and cultural appeal Cultural charm, lower prices Lower rental income
Bucharest Capital city, economic dynamism High rental demand Higher property prices, competitive market
Black Sea Coast (e.g., Constanta) Beaches, resorts Good for holiday homes, beautiful locations Seasonal rental demand
Cluj-Napoca Thriving tech industry Affordable, potential for appreciation Emerging market risks
Timisoara Growing economy, cultural vibrancy Good balance of affordability and potential Less known to foreign investors
Banat Region Development, quality of life Growing interest, potential value increase Emerging market risks
Danube Delta Eco-tourism Increasing popularity Environmental challenges
Areas with low economic activity Low economic activity or declining populations Lower prices Stagnating or decreasing property values
Areas prone to environmental challenges Environmental risks (e.g., flooding) May be more affordable Higher risk and maintenance

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Who can invest in real estate in Romania?

Investing in property as a foreigner in Romania

Investing in housing property in Romania as a foreigner involves understanding various legal aspects and requirements.

Firstly, when it comes to owning property, foreigners generally have the same rights as Romanian citizens. This means you can buy, own, and sell residential properties such as apartments and houses without significant restrictions.

However, owning land is a different matter. If you're from the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland, you can own land in Romania just like a local. But if you're from outside these regions, you can't directly own agricultural or forest land.

You can, though, own land through a company registered in Romania. This rule also applies to residential property until you gain residency status.

The country you're from can affect your property rights. EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals enjoy more privileges compared to non-EU nationals. For instance, the latter might face more scrutiny or steps in the buying process.

Residency isn't a requirement to purchase property in Romania. You can buy property on a tourist visa, but owning land, as mentioned earlier, might require establishing residency or setting up a company.

There aren't any restrictions on how long you can own property in Romania. Once you buy it, it's yours indefinitely, unless you decide to sell or transfer it. You can also pass the property on to heirs or sell it to another foreigner without additional restrictions.

Regarding documentation, you'll need a Tax Identification Number (TIN), which is essential for property transactions. This helps in tax identification and is necessary for the property registration process.

You don't necessarily need a specific authorization from a governmental institution to buy a house or apartment. However, due diligence is essential to ensure the property is free of legal encumbrances.

Having a local bank account is not mandatory, but it can facilitate transactions, especially when dealing with local currency.

While it's possible to make payments in foreign currencies, having a local account simplifies the process and helps in managing property-related expenses and taxes more efficiently.

Speaking of taxes, foreigners are generally subject to the same tax rates as locals. This includes property tax, capital gains tax, and income tax if you're renting out the property. It's important to stay informed about the tax obligations to avoid any legal complications.

Residency and investment in Romania

Romania does not offer a direct residency-by-investment program linked specifically to real estate purchases.

This means you can't automatically become a resident just by buying property in Romania. However, owning property can be part of a broader strategy to establish ties in Romania, which may be beneficial if you're pursuing residency through other means.

To gain residency in Romania, you typically need to have a valid reason, such as employment, study, family reunification, or starting a business.

For instance, if you're an entrepreneur, investing in Romanian real estate as part of a business venture could contribute to your eligibility for a business visa or residency permit. But the investment in real estate alone isn't sufficient; you need a viable business plan and must fulfill other criteria set by Romanian immigration laws.

The process usually starts with obtaining a long-stay visa from the Romanian consulate in your home country. This visa allows you to enter Romania and apply for a temporary residence permit. The requirements for the visa depend on your reason for moving to Romania.

For a business visa, you would need to provide evidence of your business activities, which could include real estate investments.

As for permanent residency, it's typically available after you've legally lived in Romania for an uninterrupted period of five years. This residency is not directly linked to property investment, but having a stable living situation, like owning a home, can be part of demonstrating your commitment to living in Romania.

Regarding citizenship, holding permanent residency for a certain number of years is one of the prerequisites. After living in Romania continuously and legally for at least 8 years (or less in some cases, like for those married to Romanian citizens), you can apply for citizenship.

Citizenship applications require proof of integration into Romanian society, knowledge of the Romanian language, and a clean criminal record, among other things.

It's important to consult with a legal expert or an immigration lawyer who specializes in Romanian law to get the most current and personalized advice.

Immigration policies can change, and a professional will provide guidance tailored to your specific situation and help you navigate the process efficiently.

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How to get started to invest in real estate in Romania?

What is the step-by-step process to buy property in Romania?

We'll give her a brief overview. However, there is a detailed and dedicated document to the buying process in our property pack for Romania.

Buying a property in Romania, like in many countries, involves a series of steps, and the experience can range from straightforward to complex, depending on various factors such as the type of property, location, and your familiarity with the local real estate market and legal procedures.

Once you find a property you like, the first step is usually to make an offer. If the seller accepts your offer, the next phase is to formalize the agreement. This involves signing a preliminary contract (called a "pre-contract" in Romania), which outlines the terms of the sale, including the price, payment schedule, and any conditions that need to be met before the final sale can occur. This contract is legally binding and typically requires a deposit, often around 10% of the purchase price.

One of the most crucial and sometimes complicated steps is the due diligence process. This is where you need to verify the legal status of the property to ensure there are no legal encumbrances, such as unpaid taxes or mortgages. In Romania, it's also important to check that the property has a clear title and that all the necessary building permits and property documentation are in order. This stage can be intricate and requires attention to detail, as missing any legal irregularities could lead to significant issues later on.

An unusual aspect in the Romanian property buying process, compared to some other countries, is the role of the 'notar public' (public notary). In Romania, the notary plays a central role in the property transaction. They are responsible for verifying the legality of the documents, ensuring that all parties understand the contract, and officially recording the sale. The involvement of the notary is a legal requirement and is crucial for the transfer of property ownership.

The entire process, from finding a house you like until having full ownership, can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. The duration largely depends on how quickly you can complete the due diligence, secure financing if needed, and how efficiently the notary can process the transaction. The due diligence and legal procedures are often the most time-consuming parts of the process.

Regarding the language, while it's not absolutely necessary to know Romanian, it certainly helps, especially in understanding legal documents and in negotiations. Many people choose to work with a real estate agent or a lawyer who can assist in these aspects and ensure clear communication between all parties involved.

Finally, cultural norms and practices can influence the buying process. For example, in Romania, negotiations might be more direct and less formal than in some other countries.

Also, the concept of 'buyer beware' is strong, meaning it's up to you to discover any issues with the property. It's important to be thorough in your inspections and not rush into decisions. Being aware of these cultural aspects can help you navigate the process more smoothly and avoid misunderstandings or complications.

Looking for property in Romania

Please note that there is a list of contacts (real estate agencies, lawyers, notaries, etc.) and websites in our pack of documents related to the real estate market in Romania.

In Romania, the search for a house typically involves a mix of modern and traditional methods.

Many people start their search online, using popular housing portals like,, or These platforms offer a wide range of listings, from apartments in urban areas to houses in more rural settings. They're user-friendly and allow you to filter searches based on location, price, size, and other criteria, making them a great starting point for getting an idea of what's available in your desired area.

Another common method is working with real estate agents. Agents often have access to listings that may not be publicly advertised, providing a broader range of options. They can also offer valuable insights into local market trends, pricing, and neighborhoods. I

n Romania, as in many countries, real estate agents can vary in terms of reliability and expertise. It's recommended to choose an agent based on recommendations from friends, family, or online reviews. Look for agents who have a strong track record and are familiar with the area where you want to buy.

Social media platforms and local online forums can also be useful resources. Facebook groups, for instance, are quite popular in Romania for real estate listings and discussions. These platforms can provide insights into local communities and offer a more informal way to find properties and connect with sellers directly.

While it's possible for buyers to access property listings directly, working with a real estate agent can offer several advantages. They can help navigate the complexities of the local real estate market, assist in negotiations, and handle legal and administrative tasks.

However, it's important to be aware of the differences between a buyer's agent and a seller's agent. A buyer's agent works in your interest, helping you find the best property and negotiate the best price, while a seller's agent is focused on getting the best deal for the seller.

In terms of commissions, there's no standard rate in Romania, and they can vary widely. Typically, the commission is negotiated between the agent and their client. In most cases, the seller pays the agent's commission, but this can vary, and it's always worth clarifying at the beginning of your relationship with an agent.

When dealing with real estate agents in Romania, effective negotiation strategies can be quite important. Be clear about your budget and requirements, and don't be afraid to negotiate on the agent's fees. It's also beneficial to express your willingness to move quickly on a purchase, as this can often motivate an agent to work harder on your behalf.

Be cautious of red flags such as agents who pressure you to make quick decisions, those who are reluctant to provide references or proof of their track record, and those who are vague about their fees or the legal aspects of the buying process.

A reliable agent should be transparent, knowledgeable, and responsive to your needs and questions.

Buying property in Romania

Negotiating the price when buying a house in Romania is quite common.

The extent to which you can negotiate the price depends on several factors such as the current real estate market conditions, the location of the property, its condition, and how long it has been on the market. Typically, buyers can expect to negotiate a discount anywhere from 5% to 10% off the listed price, but this can vary.

A successful negotiation often requires a balance between being assertive and respectful. It's important to make a reasonable offer that reflects the true value of the property, taking into account any necessary repairs or renovations.

Conducting due diligence is a critical step in the property buying process in Romania. It involves verifying the legal status of the property to ensure there are no legal issues that could hinder the sale or cause problems in the future. This process includes conducting a title search to ensure clear title ownership, meaning the seller has the legal right to sell the property and there are no outstanding claims or liens against it.

For a title search, you would typically need to access records at the local land registry office ('Cartea Funciara'). These records provide information about the property's ownership history, any mortgages or liens on the property, and other legal details. Ensuring clear title is essential because any issues with the title could affect your ownership rights in the future.

While it's not mandatory to hire a lawyer for the property buying process in Romania, it's highly recommended, especially if you're unfamiliar with the local real estate laws and procedures. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal complexities of the transaction, conduct due diligence, and ensure that your interests are protected.

The cost of hiring a lawyer can vary depending on the complexity of the transaction and the lawyer's experience and location. Generally, legal fees could range from a few hundred to a few thousand euros.

Regarding the paperwork, several key documents are required for purchasing property in Romania. These include the property's title documents, proof of the seller's ownership, a recent extract from the land registry confirming the legal status of the property, and energy performance certificates. You'll also need to sign a pre-contract or reservation agreement, followed by the final sale contract, which is typically drafted by a notary.

In Romania, the transfer of property ownership is officially completed and registered through a public notary. The notary plays a vital role in the process, ensuring that all legal requirements are met, the documents are correctly prepared, and the transfer of ownership is officially recorded in the land registry. The notary's fees are usually based on the value of the property and are typically paid by the buyer. The fees can vary, but they generally range from 0.5% to 1% of the property's value.

Finally, the official transfer of ownership is recorded in the land registry. This step is crucial as it provides public notice of the change in ownership and ensures your rights as the new owner. The notary will usually handle this process, but it's important to confirm that the registration has been completed.

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Financing a property in Romania

Foreign investors have several options for financing property investments in Romania, though the process can be slightly more complex than for local buyers.

One common method is through bank loans or mortgages. While it's possible for foreigners to obtain a loan from a Romanian bank, the process often involves thorough financial checks, and you may need to provide additional documentation compared to local buyers. This could include proof of income, credit history, and sometimes a guarantee or additional collateral.

Regarding the timing of payments, typically, a deposit is paid when the preliminary purchase agreement, or pre-contract, is signed. This agreement outlines the terms of the sale and the intent to purchase. The deposit is usually around 10% of the property's sale price, but this can vary. The full payment is then made at the time of signing the final purchase agreement, often at the notary's office where the transfer of ownership is officially recorded.

In practice, obtaining a loan as a foreigner in Romania is feasible but less common than for local buyers. This is partly due to the additional scrutiny and documentation required by banks for foreign applicants. Interest rates for mortgages can vary, and while they're generally competitive, they might be slightly higher for foreigners due to perceived increased risks by the banks. It's advisable to shop around and compare offers from different banks.

The typical deposit required for buying a property is usually between 10% and 30% of the total sale value. However, this can be higher for foreign buyers, especially if you're obtaining a mortgage, as banks may require a larger down payment.

Closing costs and fees associated with buying property in Romania include a range of expenses. Notary fees, which cover the preparation and registration of the sale contract, typically range from 0.5% to 1% of the property's value, though this can vary. Legal fees for hiring a lawyer, if you choose to do so, can also add to the costs and are usually based on the complexity of the transaction.

When it comes to taxes, there are several to consider. The property transfer tax, which is paid by the buyer, varies depending on the location and type of property, but it generally ranges from 1% to 3% of the property's value. It's important to confirm the exact rate with your real estate agent or lawyer.

Property taxes in Romania are relatively low compared to other European countries. They are calculated based on the property's location, size, and type and are paid annually. The rates can vary significantly depending on the local council's regulations.

Capital gains tax is another consideration, especially if you plan to sell the property later. If you sell a property within three years of purchasing it, the capital gains tax is generally around 16% of the profit. However, if you hold the property for more than three years, the tax rate is usually reduced or exempted.

Additional fees can include a valuation fee if you're obtaining a mortgage, as banks will require a professional appraisal of the property.

There may also be real estate agent fees, which are typically paid by the seller, but it's important to clarify this in advance.

What are the risks and pitfalls when buying property in Romania?

Investing in property in Romania, like in any country, comes with its set of risks, and it's important for foreign investors to be well-informed about these potential challenges.

One of the primary concerns for any property investor is the security of property rights. In Romania, property rights for foreigners are generally secure, provided all legal procedures are correctly followed during the purchase. The Romanian government has made significant efforts to align its legal and regulatory framework with European Union standards, which includes ensuring the protection of property rights.

However, there are specific pitfalls unique to Romania that foreign investors might not be aware of. Firstly, the complexity of the land restitution process in Romania can be a significant issue. After the fall of communism, many properties were returned to their original owners or their heirs. This has led to complicated situations where the ownership history of a property can be unclear, leading to potential disputes.

Before purchasing property, it's crucial to conduct a thorough title search and ensure there's a clear history of ownership.

Secondly, bureaucratic inefficiencies can pose a challenge. The process of buying property and transferring ownership can be time-consuming and complicated, with various administrative hurdles. This can be frustrating for foreign investors used to more streamlined processes.

Environmental risks do play a role in the Romanian real estate market. Certain areas are prone to natural hazards like flooding or earthquakes. For instance, the Vrancea region is known for seismic activity, and parts of the Danube floodplain are at risk of flooding.

Climate change implications, such as increasing temperatures and changing precipitation patterns, could also impact property values, particularly in rural or coastal areas.

Case studies of foreign investment failures often highlight issues such as lack of due diligence, failure to understand local regulations, and underestimating the importance of having reliable local partners and advisors. For example, some investors have encountered problems with properties that have unclear titles or are subject to restitution claims, leading to lengthy legal disputes.

Regarding insurance, it's advisable for foreign property owners in Romania to have comprehensive insurance coverage. This should include standard property insurance against risks like fire, theft, and natural disasters, as well as liability insurance. Insurance requirements can vary, so it's important to consult with a local insurance provider to understand your options and ensure adequate coverage.

To mitigate these risks, investors should conduct thorough due diligence, work with reputable local professionals (such as real estate agents, lawyers, and notaries), and understand the local market and legal environment. It's also wise to stay informed about any changes in local laws or regulations that could affect property ownership and rights.

In case of legal conflicts, foreign property buyers in Romania have access to the same legal protections as Romanian citizens. This includes the right to seek redress in Romanian courts and, if necessary, to appeal to European Union courts.

The reliability of these legal protections has improved in recent years, especially as Romania has worked to align its legal system with EU standards.

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This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. Readers are advised to consult with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions. We do not assume any liability for actions taken based on the information provided.