Property in Slovakia

by : Les Calvert

A part of the former Czechoslovakia, the Slovak Republic or Slovakia is an emerging powerhouse in Central Europe. This tiny landlocked country has a history of topsy-turvy alliances that have culminated into a modern European country with tremendous growth potential. Czechoslovakia came into existence after the end of World War I, when the Astro-Hungarian Empire dissolved. And after being part of Russia throughout the World War II, Czechoslovakia was finally disintegrated into Czech and Slovak Republics in what was termed as a 'Velvet Divorce' in 1993. And after remaining under the shadow of its former partner nation, Slovakia has emerged as a force to reckon within terms of real estate potential during the past 5 years.

An Emerging Slovakia

The political upheaval of the country for a long time never allowed it to achieve its full potential. However, recent political stability has changed the fortunes of Slovakia with its joining European Union in 2004. The membership of EU is not just symbolic, but also depicts a strong political will to develop the nation on par with its neighbours.

The tourism sector, of course, is the major highlight of Slovakian attractions. The Tatra Mountains stand tall to bless the nation with its icy peaks full of canyons, caves, and meadows. Hiking and Skiing are the prime adventure activities the visitors look forward to at Tatra Mountains.

The capital city of Bratislava is buzzing with some activity or the other during the entire year. All the political, business, and commercial activities in Slovakia have Bratislava as their epicentre.

Slovakia is a culturally rich country having Theatre and Opera as the major head-turners for the orthodox Slovak population. The country also has a modern face, which is depicted by hotels, bars, nightclubs, and shopping centres that have mushroomed all across in the recent years.

Though the Slovak economy is dependent on its heavy industries, the nation is also catching the fancy of big commercial houses due to the country's cheap labour costs. And contribution from tourism and service sectors ensures that the economy is developing at a steady pace.

All these factors combined with the continental climate comprising four seasons make Slovakia a hotbed of real estate activities.

Property Investment Opportunities in Slovakia

Slovakia has some choicest tourist places with spectacular scenery, historical towns and cities, fairytale castles, snow caves, spa resorts and world-class ski resorts. All this translates into wonderful opportunities of investing in property in Slovakia. The guaranteed rental income throughout the year becomes all the more lucrative when you realize that the cost of holiday property in Slovakia is just a fraction of similar property in the Swiss and Austrian Alps. Apartment property in the Tatras starts from ?22 K and go up to ?600K depending on the influential factors like size and location of property.

Bordered by the countries like Hungary, Poland, Austria, the Czech Republic and Ukraine, Slovakia's major real estate charm lies in the capital Bratislava. The property market is showing tremendous growth with the prices increasing steadily between 25%-30% annually.

The EU membership in 2004 was just what the doctor ordered as far as Slovakian real estate market was concerned. With the capital city already connected with major European cities through direct flights by cheap airlines, the country's property market got just the required boost. The missing political will, when realized gave the push required to boost the sagging Slovakian real estate graph.

And since the country is in a developmental mode, the cost of living is also on a lower side. Many big MNCs are being allured by the cheap services provided by the professionals here. As a result, there is a constant demand of apartments and smallish Studio apartments to cater to the huge workforce.

Perhaps the best part of investing in Slovakian real estate is the fact that the foreign nationals do not need to form a company in order to legally own a property in Slovakia. Even foreign individuals can own a chunk of land in Slovakia.

The government proposes to join Vienna and Bratislava through a new motorway, which means the benefits for local and overseas real estate investors just got magnified. However, be prepared to spend upwards of ?60K for owning a decent property in the capital Bratislava.

An astute investor will love to invest in rural Slovakia with property prices of Farmhouses as low as ?5K. This property offers some great returns and promises to be a worthy investment for the future.

Some of the other high-return real estate investment destinations in Slovakia include Petrazalka, Districts of Nove Mesto and Stare Mesto, University City of Trnava, ski resorts like Ruzomberok, Jasna, and Poprad.

The new investors would do well if they solicit some local help of real estate experts in order to complete the formalities of owning the property in this country. Though laws, regulations, and customs are quite simplified, yet they can pose some problems for the first-time investors.