Working as a niche office in a (still) niche market, we regularly get the same questions regarding buying land, apartment or house for sale in Croatia. Below we listed the most frequently asked questions (latest update: March 2018).

Q: Why should I hire a buying agent if I want to buy a house on the Adriatic coast?
A: The property market in Croatia and Montenegro is still under development. This also applies to the brokerage; a large overview site such as Funda does not exist here. In order to find the best offer, a buyer therefore benefits enormously from an objective purchase broker who knows how the hares walk and has access to the best offer. Also if you have found a villa or apartment through another website, Middelland can be of service to you, without it costing you more. See here for more information.

Q: Why would not I just knock at a local real estate agency?
A: Local brokers aim to sell their own offer. Middelland has agreements with the most important, carefully selected local professionals. This gives you access to the widest range and gives you 100% independent advice. We only have the buyer’s interest in mind.

Q: Which area is the most attractive to invest in i.v. the future, in all kinds of areas, urban expansion, housing, industry, tourism, recreation such as: water sports, rest, care, golf etc?
A: See this card

Q: Can you, as a foreigner, purchase individual, private real estate?
A: Yes. Foreign natural persons or companies may own land and buildings in Croatia, as long as they are not agricultural land, forest land or national monuments.

Q: Can you, as a foreigner, also purchase real estate through a local company?
A: Yes. A BV / BVBA is called a ‘d.o.o.’ in Croatia. The d.o.o. buys the land or building.

Q: Can the foreigner also be 100% shareholder?
A: The foreign natural person or company can be 100% shareholder and sole director. It is not necessary to pay salary to the director.

Q: Can a foreign company also buy property / land in Croatia?
A: Yes. Foreign natural persons or companies may own land and buildings in Croatia, as long as they are not agricultural land, forest land or national monuments.

Q: Are Croatia and Montenegro safe countries?
A: Yes. Because of the socialist past, in which everyone had a job and the income differences were small, there is relatively little crime. On the Adriatic coast you will not find high fences or ‘compounds’ like in southern France. Croatia and Montenegro are sparsely populated; here the neighbors are still known.

Q: How is the price level in Croatia and Montenegro?
A: That is very different. In the interior, for example in Istria, interesting objects can still be bought for relatively little money. On the coast, especially around Split and the popular islands such as Hvar and Brac, you have to be sure that the prices are ‘western’. Nevertheless; there is no place where you can buy real estate for less money and at such a short distance from Western Europe directly on the Mediterranean.

Q: Is it a good time to buy?
A: Yes! Due to the crisis, which lasted longer in Croatia, in particular, than in the rest of Europe, prices have fallen dramatically in the past five years. Sometimes with as much as 40%. This means that the price level is often around 2005-2006. Due to the improving economy in Europe, and the continuing decline of ‘second-home countries’ such as Turkey and Greece, prices in Croatia are rising sharply.

Q: What are the transaction costs for the purchase of real estate in Croatia and Montenegro?
A: In our Real Estate Guide you will find a clear overview of all costs.

Q: Can I get a mortgage in Croatia as a foreigner?
A: See here for more information about financing and a mortgage in Croatia

Q: What is the interest in real estate (leisure) areas?
A: Villas located directly on the sea, preferably with a private jetty. Large apartments in Dalmatia 90m² and larger, with large balcony (of which there is little offer). Resorts full service (still little developed / Croatia is not like Spain). Villas with swimming pools in the interior of Istria at hilltop villages / because of views / wine regions (offers an alternative to Tuscany). Newly built detached villas for medium low prices in Dalmatia (are not offered at all). Self (let) building is therefore more interesting than ever.

Q: Is real estate purchased by many foreign investors?
A: Mainly foreign investors and a few Croatians, mainly from Zagreb.

Q: What is the hourly wage of a construction worker?
A: 5 euros / hour

Q: Why would not I just knock at a local real estate agency?
A: Local brokers aim to sell their own offer. Middelland has agreements with the most important, carefully selected local professionals. This gives you access to the widest range and gives you 100% independent advice. We only have the buyer’s interest in mind.

Q: Which area is the most attractive to invest in i.v. the future, in all kinds of areas, urban expansion, housing, industry, tourism, recreation such as: water sports, rest, care, golf etc?
A: See this card

Q: Can you, as a foreigner, purchase individual, private real estate?
A: Yes. Foreign natural persons or companies may own land and buildings in Croatia, as long as they are not agricultural land, forest land or national monuments.

Q: Can you, as a foreigner, also purchase real estate through a local company?
A: Yes. A BV / BVBA is called a ‘d.o.o.’ in Croatia. The d.o.o. buys the land or building.

Q: Can the foreigner also be 100% shareholder?
A: The foreign natural person or company can be 100% shareholder and sole director. It is not necessary to pay salary to the director.

Q: Can a foreign company also buy property / land in Croatia?
A: Yes. Foreign natural persons or companies may own land and buildings in Croatia, as long as they are not agricultural land, forest land or national monuments.

Q: Are Croatia and Montenegro safe countries?
A: Yes. Because of the socialist past, in which everyone had a job and the income differences were small, there is relatively little crime. On the Adriatic coast you will not find high fences or ‘compounds’ like in southern France. Croatia and Montenegro are sparsely populated; here the neighbors are still known.

Q: How is the price level in Croatia and Montenegro?
A: That is very different. In the interior, for example in Istria, interesting objects can still be bought for relatively little money. On the coast, especially around Split and the popular islands such as Hvar and Brac, you have to be sure that the prices are ‘western’. Nevertheless; there is no place where you can buy real estate for less money and at such a short distance from Western Europe directly on the Mediterranean.

Q: Is it a good time to buy?
A: Yes! Due to the crisis, which lasted longer in Croatia, in particular, than in the rest of Europe, prices have fallen dramatically in the past five years. Sometimes with as much as 40%. This means that the price level is often around 2005-2006. Due to the improving economy in Europe, and the continuing decline of ‘second-home countries’ such as Turkey and Greece, prices in Croatia are rising sharply.

Q: What are the transaction costs for the purchase of real estate in Croatia and Montenegro?
A: In our Real Estate Guide you will find a clear overview of all costs.

Q: Can I get a mortgage in Croatia as a foreigner?
A: See here for more information about financing and a mortgage in Croatia

Q: What is the interest in real estate (leisure) areas?
A: Villas located directly on the sea, preferably with a private jetty. Large apartments in Dalmatia 90m² and larger, with large balcony (of which there is little offer). Resorts full service (still little developed / Croatia is not like Spain). Villas with swimming pools in the interior of Istria at hilltop villages / because of views / wine regions (offers an alternative to Tuscany). Newly built detached villas for medium low prices in Dalmatia (are not offered at all). Self (let) building is therefore more interesting than ever.

Q: Is real estate purchased by many foreign investors?
A: Mainly foreign investors and a few Croatians, mainly from Zagreb.

Q: What is the hourly wage of a construction worker?
A: 5 euros / hour

Q: Are the building materials mainly produced in your own country?
A: Raw material is produced domestically and is relatively cheap. Finishing material and wood is often imported. Croatia as a country imports a relatively large amount in many sectors. Prices for finishing level are therefore comparable to the Netherlands / Belgium, where this is also imported.

Q: Is the Land Registry now in order?

A: The land register has been renewed (with EU funds) and digitized, making it the most modern cadastral system in Europe. The property and encumbrances can be retrieved online. for most areas; hinterland of Dalmatia has not yet been worked out. Istria is best organized because the land book is built here during Austria’s Hungarian period of domination and has since been well kept.

Q: Zoning plans up to date?
A: Municipality after municipality comes up with ‘zoning plans’. From there zoning plans are developed. Always ask in which phase the zoning plan is: is it only in the construction zone?

Q: Is it possible to change a zoning plan?
A: Depending on the preconditions, in some regions, if there is sufficient land per plot, it may be built outside the construction zone. If larger plots are purchased at the same time, one can opt for a zoning plan change. How this works is related to the decentralized right of municipalities to issue new construction zones. Sometimes the municipality does this by means of a tender, but usually a developer can take the initiative and bear the costs for it.

Q: What are the construction costs of an apartment / villa, per m²?
A: Good, high-quality construction, high level of finishing, suitable for sale in the second-houses market: Approx: € 1,000 – 1,500 / m². This is not particularly cheap. In Istria in particular, the costs are higher, because construction companies have received a lot of work from neighboring countries since joining the EU.

Q: Example infrastructure costs?
A: Asphalt road: 4 m wide, 70 euro per linear meter

Q: Is a building permit easy to obtain?
A: No. A lot of paperwork and the inspectors / assessors often have to be personally visited.

Q: Can you give an indication of land prices?
A: Residential building land on the countryside depends on location and location and view: from € 35 to € 120 m². Good locations (near beautiful village, view, etc.) can be found from € 65, -. Land directly on the sea is the most expensive: 300, – / 400, – euro / m2. Land where a zoning plan already exists is more expensive than new building land. (current prices for potential locations for development of tourist real estate / second homes, not the locations in the hinterland or uninteresting places.) Land prices on the coast with sea view depend on location and distance to the sea: between € 90 and € 500 / m² The price for land far from the sea but with full sea view is approx. € 100, – / m2 The price for plots directly on the waterline is the most popular and varies strongly.Rain prices for agricultural land is between € 2 and € 15 m². (Update: 15 July 2008).

Q: Is there real estate tax?
A: Yes, but in relation to NL and BE this is very low.

Disclaimer: This questionnaire has been compiled on the basis of advice and statements from professionals in Croatia and on the basis of good faith. This Q & A is purely informative and aims to provide insight into the real estate market of Croatia and rules / laws at the time of writing. No rights can be derived from this text or from the items mentioned herein. For tax matters, you should consult a tax specialist. We emphasize that Croatia is a country in transition and that laws are subject to change. Middelland does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the text here. Any liability resulting from this text, or from printing or typographical errors or obvious mistakes will be rejected.