Buying real estate in Slovenia 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 Slovenia as a foreigner: a full guide

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buying property foreigner Slovenia

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

Slovenia is an attractive option for those looking to invest in real estate. With breathtaking natural beauty, a rich cultural heritage, and kind locals, it's the perfect place to call home.

Nevertheless, purchasing a property abroad can be a daunting process, with a plethora of legal and regulatory requirements.

Have no fear! This guide will make it easy for foreign investors to understand the property market in Slovenia. We'll provide all the information you need in an easily accessible and straightforward way.

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

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

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

Buying real estate in Slovenia as a foreigner involves navigating a set of regulations that are distinct from those applicable to local citizens. Understanding these rules can help you make informed decisions about investing in Slovenian property.

Firstly, the ability to purchase real estate in Slovenia often depends on the reciprocity principle. This means that citizens of countries that allow Slovenians to buy property there are typically also allowed to purchase real estate in Slovenia.

For many countries, especially those in the European Union (EU), this agreement exists, allowing their citizens to buy property in Slovenia with relatively few restrictions.

Foreigners, especially non-EU citizens, may face more stringent rules. They might need to obtain a special permit or approval from the Slovenian government before they can buy property. This process usually involves proving that the purchase is for a legitimate purpose and does not pose any security risks.

The exact requirements can vary, so it's essential to consult with legal experts or real estate professionals familiar with Slovenian law.

Regarding land ownership, there's a distinction to be made. While buying residential properties like houses or apartments is generally straightforward, purchasing agricultural land can be more complex.

The Slovenian government often imposes restrictions on the sale of farmland to protect domestic agriculture. Foreign buyers typically need to demonstrate that they will engage in agricultural activities and may require additional approvals.

As for residency, you don't necessarily need to reside in Slovenia to buy property there. However, owning property in Slovenia doesn't automatically grant you residency rights.

If you're considering moving to Slovenia, you'll need to apply for a separate residency permit, which is subject to its own criteria and requirements.

There's no universal requirement for a specific visa or permit just to purchase property, but if you're planning to stay in Slovenia for an extended period or move there, you will need to consider the appropriate visa or residency permit.

In terms of minimum investment, Slovenia doesn't generally impose a minimum value on real estate transactions for foreign buyers.

However, if you're looking at this as a pathway to residency or citizenship, there might be specific investment thresholds you need to meet, depending on the type of permit or program you're applying for.

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

Gaining residency in Slovenia through real estate investment is a topic that interests many potential investors and expatriates.

However, the situation in Slovenia is somewhat different from some other countries where buying property can directly lead to residency or citizenship.

In Slovenia, simply purchasing property does not automatically grant you the right to residency. Unlike some other countries that offer 'golden visa' programs directly linking property investment to residency permits, Slovenia’s approach is more nuanced.

The process of obtaining residency in Slovenia is not directly tied to the real estate investment itself but can be facilitated by it under certain conditions.

If you're a non-EU citizen, the usual path to residency involves either employment, starting a business, or proving that you have sufficient financial resources to support yourself without taking a job in Slovenia.

Owning property in Slovenia can be part of your financial portfolio and can help demonstrate your ties to the country, but it's not a standalone solution for obtaining residency.

For those interested in pursuing residency in Slovenia, the first step typically involves obtaining a temporary residence permit. This permit is usually issued for specific purposes like employment, study, family reunification, or self-employment.

To apply for this permit, you generally need to provide evidence of your reason for staying in Slovenia (like a job offer or business plan), proof of sufficient financial means to support yourself, and a valid health insurance policy.

As for the minimum investment in property, there isn't a specific amount set by the Slovenian government for obtaining residency.

The value of your real estate investment might be considered as part of your financial stability, but it’s not a direct route to a residence permit.

Regarding the duration and type of residency, initially, you would be granted a temporary residence permit, which can be renewed. After a continuous and legal stay of certain years (usually five years), you might be eligible to apply for permanent residency.

Each case can vary, and there are specific requirements for different types of applicants.

Permanent residency is a step toward applying for citizenship, but it's not automatic. Citizenship applications involve additional criteria, including language proficiency, integration into Slovenian society, and renouncing your previous citizenship in most cases, as Slovenia generally does not allow dual citizenship.

It’s not clear how many people have used property investment as a stepping stone towards Slovenian residency, as statistics on this specific pathway aren't readily available.

Each case is evaluated individually, and the success of such applications depends on a range of factors beyond just property investment.

Thinking of buying real estate in Slovenia?

Acquiring property in a different country is a complex task. Don't fall into common traps – grab our guide and make better decisions.

buying property foreigner Slovenia

Market data

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

By taking a closer look at the GDP per capita indicator, it becomes apparent that Slovenian people have become 11.0% richer throughout the past 5 years.

When people have more wealth, they often want to invest in real estate, which could lead to higher prices down the line.

Looking at the data reported by Numbeo, we can see that residential properties in Slovenia offer yields between 2.2% and 4.9%.

While they may not provide significant profitability, these moderate yields offer stability and a steady income stream over time.

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

Daily life of an expat

Living as an expat in Slovenia can be an exciting and rewarding experience. The country is a small, picturesque nation in the heart of Europe, with a rich cultural heritage, beautiful landscapes, and friendly people. The Slovenian economy is strong and growing, and the cost of living is quite reasonable. Expats will find a good selection of job opportunities, especially in the IT and finance sectors.

The climate in Slovenia is mild, with warm summers and cold winters. Expats will find plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy throughout the year, from skiing and snowboarding in the winter to hiking and cycling in the summer. The country is also home to several national parks, where you can explore the natural beauty of Slovenia.

The capital city of Ljubljana is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city, with plenty of cultural attractions, good restaurants, and lively nightlife. Expats will find a variety of international restaurants and bars, as well as plenty of cultural activities and events. The city is also home to a number of universities, so expats with families will find plenty of educational options.

Slovenia is a safe and welcoming country, and expats will find it easy to settle in and make friends. The locals are friendly and open-minded, and the country is well-connected to the rest of Europe, making it easy to travel to other European destinations. Expats will find plenty of opportunities to explore the country and its culture, and to make the most of their time in Slovenia.

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

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

City / Region Population Average Price per sqm (EUR) Strengths
Ljubljana ≈ 300,000 2,000 - 4,500 National capital, cultural center, historic architecture
Maribor ≈ 95,000 1,200 - 2,500 Second-largest city, student population, wine-growing region
Piran ≈ 4,000 2,500 - 5,000 Coastal town, Venetian architecture, Mediterranean charm
Bled ≈ 5,000 2,500 - 5,000 Tourist destination, picturesque lake, outdoor activities
Kranj ≈ 37,000 1,500 - 3,500 Historic town, proximity to Ljubljana, cultural events
Novo Mesto ≈ 23,000 1,200 - 2,500 Medieval town, wine-growing region, scenic landscape
Celje ≈ 38,000 1,200 - 2,500 Historic city, castle, cultural events

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

When purchasing a property in Slovenia, engaging a local lawyer can provide valuable assistance in navigating the legal aspects and ensuring a successful transaction.

One crucial document they can help you with is the Purchase Agreement (Prodajna pogodba), a legally binding contract between the buyer and seller that outlines the terms and conditions of the sale.

The Slovenian lawyer can also assist with conducting a Property Title Search (Iskanje Zemljiške Knjige) to verify the property's ownership status and identify any potential legal issues or encumbrances.

Moreover, 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 Court Fees, are paid correctly and in compliance with Slovenian laws and regulations.

What are the risks when purchasing a property in Slovenia?

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

One of the main risks when buying a property in Slovenia is the risk of incorrect or incomplete information. Many foreign buyers are not familiar with local laws and regulations, and may not be aware of any potential issues related to the property. This can lead to financial losses if the buyer is not aware of any problems before the purchase is completed.

Another risk is the potential for fraudulent or deceitful practices in the real estate market. In some cases, sellers may provide inaccurate or incomplete information about a property, or may engage in activities intended to deceive buyers. It is important to research the property and the seller thoroughly before committing to a purchase.

A third risk is the potential for environmental damage to the property. Slovenia has very strict environmental regulations, and any damage to the environment could have serious financial and legal consequences. It is important to understand the local environmental regulations before purchasing a property in Slovenia.

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

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

When buying a property in Slovenia, the documents you will need include:

- Proof of identity, such as a passport or national ID card

- Proof of address, such as a utility bill or bank statement

- A purchase contract, which must be drawn up in the Slovenian language and include the details of the seller and buyer, the property address, purchase price, and other relevant details

- Proof of payment, such as bank transfers or bank statements

- A deed of ownership, which must be drawn up in the Slovenian language and include the details of the seller and buyer, the property address, purchase price, and other relevant details

- A certificate of occupancy, which is obtained from the local municipality and confirms that the property is legally occupied

- A certificate of no impediment, which is obtained from the local municipality and confirms that there are no legal impediments to the purchase of the property

- A certificate of title, which is obtained from the local municipality and confirms that the property is free of any debts or encumbrances

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

How can you approach negotiations with individuals from Slovenia?

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

  1. Engage in friendly and polite conversations, as Slovenians value courtesy and appreciate a respectful and amicable atmosphere during negotiations.
  2. Show interest in Slovenian culture, nature, and traditions, as Slovenians take pride in their heritage and appreciate when others show appreciation for it.
  3. Be prepared for negotiations to be detail-oriented and meticulous, as Slovenians pay attention to thorough analysis and may engage in extensive discussions.
  4. Consider incorporating socializing elements, such as discussing local cuisine, outdoor activities, or cultural events, to foster a friendly and informal atmosphere.
  5. Seek assistance from a local intermediary or real estate agent who understands the Slovenian property market and can provide cultural insights during negotiations.

Do banks offer loans to foreigners in Slovenia?

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

When applying for a property loan in Slovenia as a foreigner, you can benefit from the "First Home" government scheme, which provides subsidized loans with low-interest rates and extended repayment terms for eligible first-time homebuyers.

NLB Banka, Nova KBM, and Abanka are among the Slovenian banks that have the potential to offer mortgages to non-resident individuals.

Moreover, mortgage rates in Slovenia for a 20-year term range from 1% to 5%, which are considered highly favorable, providing borrowers with excellent financing opportunities.

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

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

Tax Description Calculation Who pays
Capital Gains Tax Tax on capital gains from property sale 0% to 27.5% on the difference between the sale and purchase prices Seller
Property Tax Annual tax on the value of property owned A progressive rate of 0.1% to 1% of the cadastral property value Owner
Real Estate Trasfer Tax A tax on the acquisition of of second-hand properties 2% of the property value or the assessed market value, whichever is higher Buyer
Tax on the sale of new properties Tax on the sale of new properties 22% of the property value Buyer

What fees are involved in a property transaction in Slovenia?

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

Fee Description Calculation Who pays
Real Estate Agent Fee Commission paid to the real estate agent involved in the transaction Up to 4% of the property sale price (split between the seller and the buyer) Seller and Buyer
Registration Fee Fees charged by the Land Registry for registering the property transfer Between 0.01% and 0.50% of the property value, with a maximum of 80 euros Buyer
Notary Fee Fees charged by the notary public for legalizing and recording the property transfer Varies from 0.01% to 0.40% depending on the property value Buyer

Buying real estate in Slovenia can be risky

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

buying property foreigner Slovenia