A detailed guide to investing in luxury real estate in Croatia

Croatia has become a top destination for international investors looking for a piece of paradise. There is a noticeable increase in interest in luxury villas and exclusive real estate. But what is driving this growing trend owning a villa in Croatia?

Croatia has climate, sea, history and – opportunity

The idyllic Mediterranean climate on the coast is only part of the charm of this country. In Croatia, the weather is perfect for those who like to spend time time in open. There are over 2,600 sunny hours per year. This makes Croatia an ideal destination for visitors from countries that do not have the privilege of long, hot, sunny days.

Another thing is the sea. Who wouldn't like to wake up to gentle sounds of the Adriatic Sea? Breathe fresh, healthy air with the azure sea stretching as far as the eye can see?

The appeal of living near the sea is not only in the picturesque view - it is a lifestyle choice. The relaxed Mediterranean pace of life, delicious local cuisine and a multitude of holiday destinations add layers of appeal. Everything is slower here. The rhythm of life allows you to spend more precious time with family and friends.

Another reason why more and more tourists, and therefore real estate investors, choose Croatia is the great potential.

As the Croatian real estate market develops, buyers recognize investing in luxury real estate, especially exclusive villas, as a wise move. Located right by the sea or nearby, this type of property has a higher and more stable market value. Owning a vacation home in Croatia can be the perfect combination. You can go on vacation whenever you want, but also make nice extra money.

What is the best way to achieve this perfect balance? Find out in this detailed guide. We will guide you through the intricacies of investing in real estate in Croatia, where investment meets incomparable beauty!

Where to find exclusive real estate in Croatia?

In the diverse landscape of the exclusive Croatian real estate market, the demand for luxury real estate varies in different regions. Each region has a unique charm and attractiveness for investment.

However, most foreign investors are attracted to the Croatian coast. There is a noticeable preference for luxury villas with swimming pools, ideally located near the sea and capable of accommodating at least two families. That's not surprising because owning a property by the beautiful Adriatic Sea brings numerous advantages.

Apartments, especially those in busy tourist centers, are popular with buyers looking for a vibrant urban lifestyle. The proximity of cultural hotspots and modern facilities makes them attractive to investors and desirable tourists. For example, investors are looking for apartments in Croatian tourist cities such as Zadar, Split or Dubrovnik.

Most of the buildings are built along the Croatian coast modern houses and modern, exclusive villas. But you can also find a lot renovated charming stone houses, especially on the islands and in Istria. This variety satisfies a variety of tastes. It attracts a mix of investors looking for both high-end and traditional properties.

If we look at the relationship between foreign and domestic investors, the coast is dominantly attracted by international interest. In the interior and in the capital Zagreb, there is a larger share of domestic customers. They are often interested in owning apartments, both for living and renting.

Regions that stand out as the most popular for exclusive real estate investments include Dalmatia, known for its beautiful landscapes, Istria and the capital Zagreb. Dalmatia is the most popular among German, Austrian and Slovenian customers, while Istria is preferred by Americans.

Is buying a luxury villa in Croatia an expensive business?

Despite the increase in prices, Croatia maintains a comparative price affordability in the Mediterranean real estate landscape. This makes it an attractive choice for savvy investors.

For example, those interested in buying a luxury villa in Croatia will pay significantly less than in Spain. This should come as no surprise as Spain has a long history of selling and investing in this type of property.

In short, the luxury real estate market in Croatia remains stable. However, demand is constantly outstripping supply. This dynamic presents a promising prospect for those considering entry into the exclusive Croatian real estate sector.

Even so, it's always good to be cautious and keep in mind that not everything sold as luxury can be characterized as such.

What to expect from luxury real estate in Croatia?

In Croatia, luxury villas must follow certain guidelines to be considered truly luxurious.

One of the characteristics that you must have is excellent location and sea view. Villas by the sea in Croatia have the highest price. Especially if they are excellently designed and have top-of-the-line equipment.

Exclusive properties on the Croatian coast sometimes even have direct access to the beach. However, the place is not only about beautiful views and pleasant moments. It also ensures privacy and security, some of the most important features of luxury.

Furthermore, you can expect from luxury villas in Croatia superior construction and architectural design. Exclusive properties prioritize quality materials and precision craftsmanship to ensure a sophisticated and elegant look.

Also, luxury villas are superbly equipped. They have modern amenities that can enhance your comfort and lifestyle. These often include state-of-the-art kitchens, smart home technology and spacious living areas.

Many luxury villas in Croatia have private pools, spacious outdoor areas, saunas and gyms. All of this allows residents to enjoy the Mediterranean climate in style, all year round, especially if we add to that well-decorated gardens, terraces and entertainment areas.

All these features offer the possibility of an elegant, comfortable lifestyle for all pleasure seekers. Also, they ensure a good return on investment, given the growing interest in the real estate market in the country.

Where to buy real estate in Croatia?

Let's say you are looking for a holiday home in Croatia for 8 people with a swimming pool. There is a price difference depending on the location. One of the most expensive destinations with luxury real estate is Abbey. Dubrovnik is also famous for similar reasons, as it is visited annually by many famous people.

  In Croatia, it is an unwritten rule - villas by the sea cost more. On the other hand, just a little further from the coast you can find excellent exclusive properties at affordable prices. These properties can be rented almost like those by the sea if they are well equipped and have a swimming pool.

However, it should be remembered that the situation changes from year to year.

They are right now Primošten, Roznica and Vinisce very attractive areas for real estate investment. They are part of it Sibenik-Knin County and Split-Dalmatia County. There you will find excellent properties in hilly and panoramic areas with open views and still affordable market prices.

If you want to invest in exclusive real estate on the Croatian coast, consider real estate in these areas.

Investing in real estate in Croatia - everything you need to know

So, how does the process of buying a house (or any real estate) work in Croatia? What are the key steps you need to take and the key things you need to consider?

Let's see!

The best prerequisite for a successful and stable sales process are partners that you can count on. In this case it means to have specialized lawyer for real estate and professional real estate agent.

Working with the right people can make the real estate buying process much easier.

Knowledgeable and experienced real estate agents can help you negotiate a better price. Also, they will know the right people in the business to help make sure everything runs smoothly.

Who can buy real estate in Croatia?

You may be wondering - who can actually buy real estate in Croatia?

In addition to Croats, EU citizens can also buy real estate in Croatia. The same applies to citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

An exception may be a certain type of land, as was the case with agricultural land in 2023. Always get information on official website of the Government of the Republic of Croatia or simply ask your professional real estate agent.

If you come from countries outside the European Union, the situation is a little different. In that case, you will have to obtain a permit from the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Croatia, which allows you to purchase real estate.

Whether and what kind of real estate you will be able to buy in Croatia depends on the reciprocity agreement your country has with the Republic of Croatia. You can make a policy for your country check at this link.

What does the process of buying real estate in Croatia look like?

Here are five key things you will have to do if you decide to buy a villa or apartment in Croatia.

1. The first step is to obtain a personal identification number (OIB)

If you are buying real estate in Croatia, you will need to get an OIB - personal identification number. Each OIB is unique and unchangeable. It will enable you to transact in Croatia as a foreigner.

You will also need it if you want to open a bank account, start a business or apply for national health insurance. Let's not forget that you will use that number to pay property taxes.

In case yes you don't want to get OIB yourself, your real estate agents can help you with this.

2. Is the property you want to buy unencumbered?

One of the most important steps is to research the status of the property you want to buy. In other words, it should be checked whether the property is unencumbered.

Make sure that this beautiful villa in Croatia that you intend to buy does not have a mortgage or other type of financial burden.

Another thing you need to check is whether your property is legally built. If you're buying directly from a developer, make sure the seller has a valid building permit.

Also, don't forget to check the condition of the property before closing the deal.

3. Sign the pre-contract and check whether the sales contract is flawless

A pre-sale contract is a contract that expresses the buyer's intention to buy real estate, and the seller's intention to sell it. Its signature helps both parties secure the transaction and the property in question. When signing the pre-contract, the buyer usually pays 10% of the price of the property in advance.

After everything else that needs to be taken care of, it's time to conclude the sales contract. That's why you'll need it a good lawyer. The contract must be certified by a notary public.

Also, don't forget that you will need an official court interpreter when signing the contract at the notary public. It is a legal obligation for all foreigners who buy real estate in Croatia.

4. The property is not officially yours until you register it in the land register

Signing the sales contract is not the final step in the sales and confirmation of ownership process. There is one more place where you need to register – land registry. The land register is a kind of database in which all types of real estate, land and their owners are listed.

Each county has its own registry, but don't worry. If you don't have the time and energy to deal with it, your lawyer or notary public can help you with it.

  5. Transfer the bills to your name and arrange the maintenance of the property

So, you have become the proud owner of a vacation home on the beach in Croatia. Congratulations! Everything now what you need to do is transfer the bills (electricity, water...) to your name.

Also, if you are not going to live in your property, you need to think about maintenance. Real estate agents who have good connections will easily help you with this.

What costs should you keep in mind when buying real estate by the sea in Croatia?

When buying a house by the sea in Croatia, you must first know how much money you have available. After you define your budget, search the market. Explore your options and see what you can get for your money.

After that, make a list of all the major additional costs that await you.

Here are some significant costs you should keep in mind:

● The deposit you pay to the seller to insure your property – 10% of the price of the property

● Participation, if you take a loan from a Croatian bank – 25% of the real estate price

● Real estate tax – the real estate buyer pays 3% of real estate tax (one time)

● Agency commission for real estate, which varies from 2 to 4 percent of the sales price

● Attorney's fee, notary's fee and court interpreter's fee

● Property Insurance – You will want to insure your investment

● Costs of moving to Croatia

● Annual tax for renting a holiday home in Croatia - between 0.66 and 1.99 euros per square meter per year

What if you want to sell your villa by the sea in Croatia?

If you want to sell the property you bought in Croatia, wait at least two years. Why? Well, firstly because you don't want to pay additional taxes. More precisely, 24% of the amount that makes the difference between the purchase and sale price of the property.

Second, because the value of your property will increase over time, even despite inflation.

According to data, real estate prices in Croatia have increased by 60 percent in the past seven years. This year (2023), the market has slowed down, mostly due to the increase in interest rates.

However, according to analysts, real estate prices will not fall, especially not in the luxury segment, as the forecasts say. The demand for such properties is high. More and more construction projects are on the horizon for 2024.

How can you finance your investment in real estate in Croatia?

While you are thinking about buying a villa in Croatia, it is a common step to think about taking out a loan. Most foreign real estate investors opt for a loan from their home bank. But, loan in a Croatian bank it is also possible to pick up if you are coming from abroad.

Banks in Croatia have noticed the increasing interest of foreign citizens in loans. This has led to more of them offering that option to new homeowners.

Not all banks in Croatia offer loans to non-residents, but some do. One of them is Erste Bank. Erste offers housing loans of up to 250,000 euros to all EU residents.

PBZ banka, as part of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group, also offers loans to EU citizens who receive income in euros. In PBZ bank you can get a loan of up to 350 thousand euros.

Furthermore, in ZABA's exclusive Center for non-residents you can get all the information about financing and getting a loan.

There is also another option that you can consider.

Progresso group is a kind of intermediary between the client (you) and the bank. They can help you find the loan that best suits your needs.

Keep in mind that you will probably have to raise a certain amount of funds yourself (approx. 25-30 percent of the price of the property).

How much can you earn by investing in exclusive real estate in Croatia?

Now, let's talk numbers: how much money you can actually make to earn?

Let's say you buy a villa with four bedrooms and five bathrooms with an open sea view. The villa is located on the island of Pag, near the popular Croatian tourist destination, Novalja.

The facility is superbly equipped and has a swimming pool, sauna and gym. The value of the villa is around 1.1 million euros.

If you rent this villa with a pool from April to October, you can return about 6 to 8 percent of the price of the property in one season.

In precise figures, this means that around 80,000 euros could be earned per rental season. If you deduct the maintenance costs, the profit would be around 60 thousand euros.

Doesn't sound bad, does it?

And don't forget that the villa will be at your disposal until the end of the year. You could have a vacation home by the beach and make extra money.

This is why it pays to invest in luxury real estate on the Croatian coast.

If you are thinking about investing in such a property in Croatia, see our latest project in Zadar County. Or simply us please contact to help you find the perfect real investment for your needs. We are at your disposal!

Photos: Pixabay, Adobe Stock, iStock.

Other announcements

follow us