landlocked central European nation, often known as 'the heart of Europe'
is renowned for its spectacular mountains, crystal clear lakes and green
valleys. Austria's cities have plenty to recommend them to property
buyers with a blend of modern architecture, historic buildings, and
continental charm. Austria boasts a strong artistic and musical
tradition and its snowy peaks offer excellent winter sports.
'Austria offers the same quality of
skiing in high-altitude resorts as in the French Alps, but properties
are up to 50% cheaper. Mountain properties are priced according to the
quality of local skiing and the amount of rent they can generate. Prices
in Austria are rising by 6 to 7% a year and you can avoid the 50%
capital gains tax after ten years of ownership.
Foreign residents mainly consist of Germans
and some Italians, with the principle language being German.
Capital gains made by residents are taxed as ordinary income at 34%.
Your principal home will be exempt unless you sell within five years.
All property is exempt after 10 years.
There have been restrictions on Foreign Ownership, with permission to
buy property required from the local authority office, with restriction
also on buying holiday homes in certain areas. Since joining the EU,
Austria will be obliged to change these laws so that they apply equally
to Austrian and EU citizens.
Buying property in Austria has long been a popular activity for German
and Italian second home buyers, but is increasingly of interest to the
British due, to its growing accessibility via low cost airlines. Those
thinking about buying property in
Austria should be aware that the cost
of living is among the highest in Europe. Property prices in
still very favourable
to those in Britain.
Austria in the EU including links to Austrian government sites and
Ski resorts are popular areas
for outside buyers. Summer holiday homes for activity and outdoor
pursuits are also well supported during the summer season. Vienna is
rich in culture.
The cost of Living:
The cost of
living in Austria is higher than most other EU countries.
enjoys a high standard of living. EU membership will start to reduce the
price of imported goods.
Buying in Austria:
deposit of lO% is usual but not always necessary in
Austria. It is
returned if the sale falls through. Property sales are usually handled
for both parties by a
solicitor/lawyer. The purchase agreement and the
documents can be signed before an official at an
Austrian embassy abroad
and translated if required. When the purchase contracts are signed the
funds are deposited in a trustee (escrow) account until completion takes
place. The owner details will then be registered in the land registry
and can take a few months. The taxes and fees are then paid by the
solicitor/lawyer and the agreed purchase price paid to the vendor.
solicitor/lawyer would normally have to be employed to handle the sale
and buying contracts.
fees should be around 8 to 9% of the buying price and will include
property transfer tax of 3.5% and notary fees around 3-4%. The ownership
registration should be 1% with stamp duty 0.5-1%, the land registry fees
averaging a payment of around £300.
between 0.4-0.9% of the properties assessed value and should be lower
than the market sale value. Wealth tax of 1% of your net worth
irrespective of your resident status is charged for Austrian property
arranged from Austrian banks for both residents and non residents with
variable interest rates and payment terms.