The proportion of foreign nationals among property buyers in Croatia was 14 percent in 2010, while last year, one in four real-estate buyers was a foreigner, Vecernji List newspaper wrote on Monday.
In the last 10 years, 314,000 residential properties have been sold, with the number of flats and holiday apartments sold ranging from 23,000 in 2020, which was their lowest number, to nearly 40,000 in 2010.
Foreign nationals have an increasingly important role on the real estate market as they have purchased 60,000 flats and holiday apartments in the last 10 years. While the proportion of foreigners among buyers was 14 percent in 2010, last year every fourth buyer of a flat or a holiday apartment was a foreign national, Vecernji List said.
In 2020, foreign nationals bought four in ten properties sold in Istria County, three in ten in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, one in four in Zadar County, one in five in Dubrovnik and Sibenik, and 16 percent of the properties sold in Split-Dalmatia County.
In continental Croatia, the proportion of foreign nationals among real-estate buyers was around 2 percent in Medjimurje and Varazdin Counties and was negligible elsewhere.
The eastern Slavonia region expects to see a surge in the number of foreigners after July 2023 when the ten-year ban on the sale of agricultural land to foreign nationals expires.
Last year, about 34,000 agricultural plots were sold for slightly less than 1.5 billion kuna, at the average price of about €3,300 per hectare. The price of farm land per hectare in Croatia is six times cheaper than in neighbouring Slovenia and 13 times cheaper than in Italy. A hectare of arable land costs about €4,700 in Hungary and about €5,000 in Romania, the newspaper said.
“Whoever buys land in Slavonia, not for speculative reasons but to engage in agricultural production, will face the problem of labour shortage, because we do not have enough people even to pick apples,” Zeljko Lovrincevic, an analyst at the Zagreb Institute of Economics, said.
He added that many people have become experts for grants and are adjusting to the tender terms in order to invest as little as possible and get as much money as possible without considerably increasing production.