Patricia Holikova, Tuesday, 26 August 2014
Even though property prices in Slovakia experienced noticeable increase after the country joined the EU in 2004, overall costs of properties in the
country is still considered to be among lowest in the EU. Naturally, prices of properties vary depending on the location. On the other hand, costs of
either buying or selling a home in Slovakia remain globally very reasonable.
Getting Professional Assistance
Before buying or selling a property in Slovakia, it is good to know that properties are usually referred by the number of rooms, not only bedrooms
(for example, a 4-room flat means a flat with three bedrooms and a living room). In general, there is possibility of buying a real estate property in
Slovakia on one’s own, without using services of professional real estate service.
However, the whole process becomes more convenient when you have such professional assistance. Nowadays, the offer from which to choose is quite
extensive. Moreover, all of the major players are experienced in handling with foreign clients and there should be no language barrier for clients
speaking some of the world languages. A serious real estate service usually offers full legal service to its clients, including the paperwork needed
for transfer of the ownership. It is, however, possible to hire a lawyer for preparing legal documents, too.
Furthermore, the costs of real estate agent usually mount to 3% to 6% of the property price, while cheaper properties usually sttract higher fees.
Often, the sum is fixed while percentage portion applies to more lucrative real estate service. In many cases, this amount of money is required to be
paid in cash and is often equal to deposit. The fee varies between the regions of the countries and is naturally proportional to the portfolio of
services done by the agency.
The administrative costs of buying or selling a real estate property in Slovakia are rather low. Sales contract should cost no more than 700 EUR,
while administrative fees (including the documents required by the Cadastre) are approximately 300 EUR. After 2005, there is no real estate transfer
tax in Slovakia, thus the purchase/sale of home in Slovakia is not burdened by any tax. However, the transaction is subject to the income tax of 19%
which applies to the income acquired by selling the home. Original sum for this tax is counted as the difference between acquisition property price
and selling price. There are some cases when the owner can avoid paying this amount, such as when the person has permanent residence in the given
property for at least 2 years.
Paying the Deposit
After choosing the property one wants to buy, he is expected to pay a deposit (5% and higher) in advance. This serves for securing the property, as
well as budget for initial administrative costs. In case the potential buyer decides not to buy the property, the agent is obliged to give him the
original sum back. If any costs already occurred, the exact sum is deducted from original amount. If no such expenses incurred, the agent is bound to
return the deposit in its full amount.
Afterwards, the paperwork begins. It is important to say that the bureaucracy in Slovakia connected with operations on real estate market is
relatively low in comparison with many other EU countries. This is a consequence successful reforms country managed to accomplish a decade ago. What
makes whole process convenient is also the fact there is no notary required for establishment of real estate rights. However, a notary public or
local municipality authority is commonly used to certify signatures of transferors in the property report and the final contract. Still, the cost for
these services counts in few euro. Afterwards final contract is prepared and the amount of money is paid by the new owner. Consequently, the official
documentation required by the Cadastre is submitted. This step includes some administration fees, generally under 100 EUR.
Prices of Real Estates in Slovakia
The prices of real estate property are currently reaching their long-term bottoms (as of November 2013). Comparing to the highest level 5 years ago,
residential real estate in the country totals to four fifth of the peak sum. The prices of real estate in Slovakia dropped under the influence of
global economic crisis, as well as due to increase in unemployment. There are no sudden turnarounds expected in the near future and the price market
seems stabilised. On average, the price of houses and flats in Slovakia was 1,220 EUR per square metre in the third quarter of 2013.
Real estate in the major regions of Slovakia is regarded well in the world market. Its prices and conditions are in reasonable ration. The country
offers numerous possibilities for recreation throughout the year, being one of the reasons why many foreigners consider buying their real estate
property in Slovakia. Also, the costs involved seem acceptable and this often means added value for its potential residents.