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How to be a Neighbour to Mozart - A Guide to homebuying in Austria


The whole of Europe has become a new target for Chinese investors or immigrants, and as Austria is full of the "sound of music", the home of the talented musician Mozart, there must also be many Chinese investors are very interested in its immigration policy. Therefore, we have compiled a list of things that everyone who is going to emigrate to Austria must know about before buying a house there.

Guide to buying a house in Austria

Buying a house in Austria

Housing market overview: steady but challenging
According to related reports, house prices in Vienna increased by 55 per cent from the global financial crisis to June 2014, while they increased by 34.7 per cent in Austria during the same period. According to a report released by London-based Knight Frank Real Estate, "the Austrian real estate market was stable and did not suffer during the market crisis of 2008".

Among the reasons for this is the limited supply of new/renovated apartments in the city centre, the stable economic situation in Austria, the conservative financial system, and restrictions on foreign buyers. When there is a crisis, it is relatively safe to invest in the real estate industry and is a no-brainer for investors.
Looking ahead, there are signs that the market is cooling, even if prices aren't falling. Among the most important factors are the economic situation in Russia and the conflict in Ukraine. As it stands, the real estate sector will be challenged, with the Austrian housing market heavily influenced by the Eastern European economies, with a large influx of Eastern European buyers, but once the situation improves, they will go back again.


Housing market distribution: high prices in the city centre, worth looking into suburban areas
Vienna's luxury and second-hand housing market has been concentrated on apartments in the city centre (District 1), where there is an abundance of Baroque architecture and UNESCO heritage such as the Royal Palace. As a growing high-end market, a large number of historic buildings downtown have been converted into luxury condos with high prices, at more than €1,000 per square foot, almost three times as high as other new condos.
Home prices here have tended to fall back as buyers have pulled out of District 1. Highly sought-after lots like District 2 and District 5 can easily walk to downtown, but prices go up to €750,000 to €2.5 million.
If buyers want to buy a detached house or villa, they can pay more attention to the 13 districts in western Vienna and the 18 and 19 districts in the north. In these places, even in the suburbs, downtown can be reached by a 15-minute drive, and the best historic homes here sell for up to €12 million, but most are priced around €4 million.


Good quality and low prices: prices in Vienna are relatively low compared to London or Paris
Currently, prices in Vienna remain at a relatively low level, and you can buy a quality property in a prime location in Vienna for as little as €6,000 or €7,000 per square meter per unit (about €630-735 per square foot). Compared to Paris or London, the same cosmopolitan city, you'd have to pay 2 or even 3 times as much for a property like this.
Subtitle_Who are the buyers: dominance by Eastern European who value the safety of their investments
According to local agents in Vienna, foreign buyers currently account for about 40 per cent of the Vienna property market, mostly in the high-end market, mostly from Russia, Ukraine and Germany in Eastern Europe. For Eastern European buyers, they value Austria's very safe and calm environment above all else, which is why many Austrian immigrants are also looking to return to the Vienna housing market to invest safely.

Rules for buying a house: brokerage commission is shared by both buyers and sellers

  • For buyers from EU countries, the same treatment as citizens is available to them when they buy a house in Austria.
  • Buyers from other countries who want to buy a home in Austria need to get permission from the government first. If a buyer buys to live, it is fairly easy to get the permit; but if bought to invest, it is much more difficult.
  • The total amount of taxes to be paid by the buyer is approximately 10 per cent of the total transaction price, consisting mainly of a transaction tax of 3.5 per cent and a registration fee of 1.1 per cent.
  • The brokerage commission is paid jointly by the buyer and the buyer, who pays about 3 per cent of the total price.
  • Foreign buyers must retain an attorney and pay a notary fee of approximately 2-3% of the total transaction price.

List of taxes and fees for buying a house in Austria

List of taxes and fees for the purchase of a house in Austria


Buying process: buyer makes an offer, lawyer follows up

  1. Selection of property by the buyer.
  2. The preparation and issuance of a formal offer to buy a house with the assistance of an agent and a breakdown of the transaction costs, including legal fees, transaction fees, registration fees, notary fees, intermediary fees, etc..
  3. If the seller accepts the offer, a formal sale and purchase contract is signed by the Austrian lawyer/notary office. Upon signing the contract, the buyer is required to pay a deposit of 10 per cent, which is credited to the account of the principal or third party until the end of the contract.
  4. Thereafter, the lawyers of both parties will act on behalf of the other aspects of the purchase transaction.
  5. Usually, the whole process of buying a house in Austria takes about 32 days.

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