Buyers Guide Homepage

Buyer's Guide

Your guide to buying property in Austria

Austria is one of the world’s most stable economies, and the third wealthiest nation in the EU. It has a very low crime rate and property values have steadily increased between 5% and 10% pa in recent years.

Austria has been a member of the EU since 1995 and has historically imposed a number of restrictions on foreign property buyers. Austria has nine independent provinces and the rules governing property investment vary between them. Thankfully, a number of legislative changes in the past 15 years have made investing in Austria a more viable option, creating fresh opportunities for overseas investors to enjoy the benefits of an Austrian lifestyle while earning a stable return.

Whichever AlpenParks development you wish to invest in, rest assured we will answer all of your questions and ensure a simple and smooth purchase of your Austrian property.

Costs of purchasing

Purchase Tax (Stamp Duty) is 3.5%, Notary and Contract fees are 1,5%, entry to the Land Registry is 1,1% and 1% Tax Advisor fees of the gross purchase price. Court costs and administration fees are approximately 400 Euros.

Mortgages

The mortgage market in Austria is very stable as banks only lend up to 60% loan to value, usually over a period of 15 - 25 years. If you need a mortgage to buy your AlpenParks property, we can arrange this for you through our partnership with Austria's premier banks. You are also welcome to arrange a mortgage independently with your preferred bank if you choose. Average interest rates are currently around 3.5% (correct as of the 01/04/2009 - subject to change).

When you take out a mortgage in Austria you should expect to pay an additional 2% to 4% in mortgage fees. The additional 2% to 4% includes various admin and set-up fees which will be highlighted in all mortgage quotes supplied by the bank.

Please note: that although the cost of the furniture packages are included in many of the properties we sell, for mortgage purposes part of this cost must be deducted as banks will not lend on furniture. The cost of the furniture packages for apartments and chalets is usually anywhere between €20,000 and €40,000.

Prodinger

 

Austria

The Legal Process

According to Austrian law, the deed of sale must be signed by both the purchaser and the vendor in the presence of a notary, though both parties usually delegate this to a power of attorney.

The notary’s office will send you a copy of the deed of sale in German, together with a proper English translation, along with a power of attorney authorising the notary’s secretary to sign on your behalf (if you have already given approval that any outstanding issues have been adequately resolved). You must take the power of attorney to a notary public in your home country to have your signature witnessed, before the notary public sends this on to the foreign office.

If you’d prefer to hop on a plane and sign in person instead, you can always do that as it is much more fun!

Taxes

The housing market in Austria has been subject to a number of controls in order to keep house prices within reach of locals, especially in the tourist areas.

The previously low inheritance tax of only 4% has since been reduced to zero for next-of-kin and relatives. VAT of 20% must be paid on all rental income, and will be reclaimed each quarter upon the filing of the owners’ accounts by our official accounting partner Prodinger GFB & Partner. There are no taxes on assets in Austria, expect the property tax. In this instance the property tax will range from €70 to €100 so it is comparatively small.

There are a number of ways to reduce the tax you pay on your rental income. Any interest you pay on your mortgage can be written off against rental income; you can write off 10% of the costs of your furniture package as depreciation against your rental income;

Keeping your accounting simple

AlpenParks will organise for all of your accounting to be done by Prodinger GFB & Partner on a quarterly basis. We are committed to ensuring that purchasing a property in Austria is simple and cost-effective, and we would be happy to provide you with more detailed information about any of the issues outlined above. We can also connect you with an in-house English speaking accountant who will appraise your circumstances free of charge.