Buying real estate in Slovakia as a foreigner?

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

Buying property in Slovakia as a foreigner: a full guide

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

Slovakia is a top pick for foreigners who want to invest in real estate. It offers beautiful countryside, a rich heritage, and friendly locals.

However, purchasing property in a foreign country can be complicated, especially with all the laws and regulations involved.

Don't worry! This guide is here to make it easy for foreign buyers to understand how the property market works in Slovakia. We'll cover everything you need to know in a straightforward and simple manner.

Also, for a more in-depth analysis, you can check our property pack for Slovakia.

Can you purchase and own a property in Slovakia as a foreigner?

If you are American, we have a dedicated blog post regarding the property buying and owning process in Slovakia for US citizens.

In Slovakia, the rules for foreigners buying real estate can be quite specific and vary depending on several factors.

Here's an overview to help you understand the situation.

Firstly, whether you can own land in Slovakia largely depends on your nationality and the type of property you're interested in. EU citizens have almost the same rights as Slovak citizens when it comes to buying real estate. This means if you're from an EU country, you can buy residential properties and land without much hassle.

However, for non-EU citizens, it's a bit more complex.

Generally, you can buy apartments and buildings without major restrictions, but when it comes to agricultural land, forests, or national heritage sites, there are certain limitations.

Your rights as a foreigner, especially if you're from outside the EU, might be slightly different compared to locals.

In some cases, you might need to establish a legal entity in Slovakia (like a company) to purchase certain types of property. This is a common workaround for restrictions on land ownership.

Regarding residency, you don't necessarily need to reside in Slovakia to buy property here. Owning real estate in Slovakia doesn't automatically grant you residency rights, but it can be a step towards applying for a residence permit if that's your goal.

Visa or residency permits are not a prerequisite for buying property.

However, if you plan to stay in Slovakia for property management or for longer periods, you should consider the appropriate visa or residence permit.

In terms of government authorization, foreign buyers may need to obtain certain approvals or registrations, especially for transactions involving land or strategic properties.

There isn't a standardized minimum investment threshold for buying property in Slovakia. The investment depends on the property's location, type, and market value.

Can you become a resident in Slovakia by purchasing and owning a property?

In Slovakia, there isn't a direct investment scheme for gaining residency solely through real estate purchase, unlike some other countries that offer "golden visa" programs.

Purchasing property in Slovakia does not automatically grant you residency rights.

However, owning property can be a part of your application for residency, especially if you demonstrate a significant link to the country through your investment.

To gain residency in Slovakia, the process usually involves proving you have a valid reason to stay in the country. This can be for employment, business, study, family reunification, or other significant ties.

If you're considering using property investment as a part of your residency application, it's important to understand that the property itself is not the sole criterion. You would need to establish other substantial ties to Slovakia.

The steps for applying for residency generally include providing proof of a stable and regular income, health insurance, and a clean criminal record, along with the specific reasons for your stay (like business activities or family ties).

If property investment is part of your business activity or contributes to your economic ties in Slovakia, it could strengthen your application.

Regarding the minimal investment, there's no defined amount for property investment that would guarantee residency, as real estate investment is not a standard pathway for residency in Slovakia.

The requirements for residency are more focused on your purpose of stay and your ability to support yourself in Slovakia.

The number of people who have used property investment as part of their residency application isn't publicly available, as it's not a standard or widely recognized scheme for gaining residency.

Residency permits in Slovakia can range from temporary to permanent, depending on your circumstances. Initially, you might be granted temporary residency, which can later lead to permanent residency after meeting certain conditions, like continuous stay and integration into Slovak society.

Permanent residency is a step towards citizenship, but it doesn't automatically grant you citizenship rights.

To become a citizen, you'd need to fulfill additional requirements, including a certain period of continuous residence, language proficiency, and knowledge of Slovak culture and legal system.

Thinking of buying real estate in Slovakia?

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Market data

You can find fresh and updated data in our pack of documents related to the real estate market in Slovakia.

By examining the the the GDP per capita indicator, we can deduct that Slovak people have become 5.9% richer throughout the past 5 years.

As people's wealth grows, the demand for real estate could rise, resulting in potential price increases down the road.

Looking at the data reported by Numbeo, we can see that rental properties in Slovakia offer gross rental yields between 2.4% and 5.1%.

These moderate rental yields indicate a balanced return on investment for property owners or investors

To know more, you can also read our dedicated article: is it a good time to buy a property in Slovakia?

Daily life of an expat

Living as an expat in Slovakia can be a rewarding and exciting experience.

The country is known for its stunning natural beauty, friendly people, and vibrant culture. The cost of living is relatively low compared to other European countries, making it an attractive destination for expats.

The capital city of Bratislava is home to a diverse population of expats from all over the world and offers a wide range of activities and attractions.

Expats in Slovakia will find that the locals are welcoming and hospitable, and the country is safe and secure. The country also has a rich history and culture, with many festivals and events taking place throughout the year.

Expats will find plenty of opportunities to explore the country and enjoy its many attractions.

The Slovakian language is quite different from English, so expats should be prepared to learn some basics before they arrive. However, English is widely spoken in the larger cities, and many expats find it easy to get by without learning the language. Expats should also be aware that the healthcare system in Slovakia is not as advanced as other countries, so it is important to have private health insurance in place.

Overall, life as an expat in Slovakia can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. The country is full of charm and beauty, and expats will find plenty of opportunities to explore and enjoy all that Slovakia has to offer.

What are the best places to invest in real estate in Slovakia?

This table summarizes some of the best places to buy a property in Slovakia.

City / Region Population Average Price per sqm (EUR) Strengths
Bratislava ≈ 430,000 1,800 - 3,500 National capital, economic center, cultural attractions
Košice ≈ 240,000 1,200 - 2,500 Second-largest city, historical sites, vibrant arts scene
Žilina ≈ 80,000 900 - 1,800 Industrial hub, picturesque setting, outdoor recreational opportunities
Trnava ≈ 65,000 1,100 - 2,200 Historic town, cultural heritage, proximity to Bratislava
Nitra ≈ 78,000 900 - 1,800 University town, rich history, agricultural region
Banská Bystrica ≈ 80,000 900 - 1,800 Central Slovakia, medieval architecture, surrounding mountains
Poprad ≈ 54,000 1,200 - 2,500 Tatras gateway, ski resort, natural beauty

Do you need a lawyer to buy real estate in Slovakia?

When purchasing a property in Slovakia, engaging a local lawyer can be essential to navigate the legal requirements and ensure a successful transaction.

One important document they can assist with is the Purchase Agreement (Kúpna Zmluva), a legally binding contract between the buyer and seller that outlines the terms and conditions of the sale.

The Slovakian lawyer can also help with conducting a Property Title Search (Vyhľadávanie Vlastníckeho Práva) to verify the property's ownership status and identify any potential legal issues or encumbrances.

Furthermore, they can guide you through the process of obtaining necessary permits and approvals, such as approval from the local Land Registry or relevant authorities.

They will ensure that all applicable taxes and fees, such as the Property Transfer Tax and Notary Fees, are paid correctly and in compliance with Slovakian laws and regulations.

What are the risks when purchasing a property in Slovakia?

We've got an article dedicated to the risks associated with purchasing property in Slovakia.

When buying a property in Slovakia, there are some risks that are not common in other countries. For example, in Slovakia, the buyer is responsible for any debts the seller may have, such as unpaid taxes. This means that the buyer must ensure that all debts have been settled before the purchase. Additionally, the buyer must also pay a transfer tax of 5% of the purchase price.

In Slovakia, there is also a risk of land disputes. This means that there may be other people who claim a legal right to the property, and the buyer must ensure that any such disputes are resolved before the purchase. Finally, the buyer must also pay a registration fee to the local land registry office, which is not required in other countries.

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

What are the required documents for a real estate transaction in Slovakia?

When buying a property in Slovakia, the following documents are commonly needed:

1. Birth certificate

2. Proof of address

3. Signed purchase agreement

4. Proof of identity

5. Evidence of financing

6. Land registry records

7. Tax clearance certificate

8. Building permit

9. Certificate of occupancy

10. Non-encumbrance certificate

We review each of these documents and tell you how to use them in our property pack for Slovakia.

What are the tips for negotiating with Slovakian people effectively?

When buying a property in Slovakia, here is what you can do to improve the negotiation phase:

  1. Engage in polite and respectful conversations, as Slovaks value formalities and appreciate courteous behavior during negotiations.
  2. Show interest in Slovakian culture, history, and traditions to establish a positive rapport and demonstrate your appreciation for their heritage.
  3. Be prepared for negotiations to be a thorough process, as Slovaks appreciate attention to detail and may engage in meticulous discussions.
  4. Consider incorporating socializing elements, such as discussing local sports, cuisine, or music, to build a friendly atmosphere and establish common ground.
  5. Seek assistance from a local intermediary or real estate agent who understands the Slovakian property market and can provide cultural insights during negotiations.

Do banks offer loans to foreigners in Slovakia?

Yes, foreigners can obtain property loans in Slovakia. The Slovak banking system allows non-residents to apply for property loans, subject to certain conditions and requirements.

If you are a foreigner seeking a property loan in Slovakia, you can explore financing options through the "Young Family" program, which offers favorable conditions for families with dependent children and provides assistance for home purchases.

Some banks in Slovakia that can grant mortgages to foreigners include Slovenská sporiteľňa, Tatra banka, and VÚB Banka.

Furthermore, mortgage rates in Slovakia for a 20-year term range from 0% to 4%, which are considered highly favorable, providing borrowers with excellent financing opportunities.

What are the taxes related to a property transaction in Slovakia?

Here is a breakdown of taxes related to a property transaction in Slovakia.

Tax Description Calculation Who pays
Capital Gains Tax Tax on capital gains from the sale of real estate 19% to 25% on the net capital gain (the difference between sale price and cost) Seller
Real Estate Tax Annual tax on the value of property owned 0.033 euro per m² of surface occupied by the real estate property Owner
Value Added Tax (VAT) Tax on the sale of new properties (less than five years from completion of construction) 20% of the property value for new properties or properties being sold by a VAT payer Buyer

What fees are involved in a property transaction in Slovakia?

Below, you'll find a list of fees involved in a property transaction in Slovakia.

Fee Description Calculation Who pays
Real Estate Agent Fee Fee paid to real estate agent or broker Typically ranges from 3% to 6% of the property value Seller
Land Registry Fees Fees charged by the Land Registry for registering the property transfer 66 euros for property registration within 30 days (33 euros for electronic application) Buyer
Notary Fees Fees charged by the notary public for legalizing and recording the property transfer Varies from 0.01% to 1.5% of the transaction amount, depending on the property value Buyer
Legal Fees Professional fees charged by lawyers for handling the transfer process Between 0.5% and 1% of the property value Buyer

Buying real estate in Slovakia can be risky

An increasing number of foreign investors are showing interest in Slovakia. However, 90% of them will make mistakes. Avoid the pitfalls with our comprehensive guide.

buying property foreigner Slovakia