Property in Romania

By: Les Calvert

After years of political and economic disruption that this country has witnessed, Romania is on the brink of something very big as far as real estate investment in the country is concerned. The country was under the grip of repressive dictatorial regime until 1990 when Ceaucescu was overthrown, and it is only in the last decade-and-a-half that Romania has realised its economic and political potential in the real sense.

Resultantly, the opportunities for commercial, business, industrial, and residential property investment are literally served on the platter for visionary real estate investors. Contrary to the popular belief, foreign residents can also own property in Romania, if they know their exact legal position.

Why Property Investment in Romania is not a bad proposition?

Up until recently, no one wanted to invest hard-earned cash in to any kind of property in Romania and the reasons were not far to seek. A politically volatile country with its economy in shambles, Romania looked every bit a 'destination to avoid' for the real estate investors. One of the poorest nations of Europe, Romania looked a pale shadow of its former self that had rich cultural and traditional heritage. And an indifferent dictatorial communist regime up until the 1990s did little to promote the cause of the country and the countrymen.

However, things have improved remarkably over the past few years. Romania is one of the newest members of the European Union (EU), which, in itself, marks, the beginning of a long transformation process for the country. The country has to eliminate legal and administrative hassles for investment purposes. This means that Romania has to forego many of its prohibitive stipulations, like the bar on foreign investors to purchase property in the country as an individual. However, there will be no bar if a foreigner forms a Limited Liability Company and invests in Romanian real estate.

Romania has had some interesting historical significance in Europe. It is the largest Balkan State and is popularly known as 'an Island of Latinos in a sea of Slavs'. Romania was ruled by Romans, Ottomans, and Austro-Hungarians at different points in history. Resultantly, there is a treasure-trove of cultural and historical remnants spread all across the country, which is a natural tourist attraction. The Saxon town of Transylvania is popular for the Bran Castle of Dracula fame. The painted monasteries of Bucovina and the rural village idyll of Muramures are everyone's delight. Paris of Balkans - the capital city of Bucharest - is by no means a dull city. It is as vibrant as any other European capital. However, the pride of place in Romania is 2007's European Capital of Culture - the old city of Sibiu in Transylvania.

If the Black Sea Coast offers a unique coastal lifestyle and aquatic adventures, it's the densly forested Carpathian Mountains in the plains that boast of the largest wetland in Europe - the Danube Delta. The country has everything a tourist looks for in a holiday destination. The only thing that's missing seems to be political will to transform the country swiftly.

Romanian Property

Due to sustained efforts of the government, there are newer avenues available for property investment in Romania. And thanks to the country's EU membership, things can only change for the better in the country.

Undoubtedly, major investor interest revolves around the capital city of Bucharest. Offering easy accessibility to commercial and business centers, Bucharest is also the center of all political activities in the country. You can own off-plan apartments here for as low as ?35K. However, depending on the apartment dimensions, the price may exceed up to ?250K-300K. If you move a little away from Bucharest, excellent and inexpensive residential homes are available in Brasov for the same price as off-plan investments in the capital city. The government is aggressively promoting developmental projects in Constanta. You can really strike some excellent deals here, as the prices are on a lower side still.

In fact, the towns of Brasov and Sighisoara are the fastest growing in terms of real estate development in the country. An airport is also scheduled to be built in Brasov in 2008 and the work on a new motorway joining it with Bucharest will also commence shortly.

The Mountain resorts of Predeal, Sinaia and Busteni present an excellent opportunity for buying villas in the range of ?50K. The beach resort towns of Mamaia and Costinesti are best for buying studio apartments for regular handsome rental income throughout the year. The rates of studio apartments start at ?30K.

The time is perfect for Romanian real estate investment, as the market is on a maturing stage and if you are a long-term investor, there is nothing like Romanian property. If the projected returns on investments on Romanian property in the next few years are any indication, we are bound to witness a surge of investment activity throughout the country. However, before investing in Romania, the UK investors are well advised to go through the legal provisions carefully, and plan their investments accordingly.

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