How Do Foreigners Buy Real Estate in Serbia?

More foreigners decide to buy a property in Serbia.

Source: B92
Ilustracija: Bogi.Knips/Shutterstock
Ilustracija: Bogi.Knips/Shutterstock

Housing loans are approved even to non-residents, but with slightly higher interest rates than to Serbian citizens.

A larger offer of real estate and attractive locations make Belgrade's new developments attractive to foreigners as well. It is true that they dominantly buy for cash, but commercial bankers did not miss on this increasing trend, so they have already come out with a special offer of housing loans for non-residents.

"As for the loan documentation, it is pretty much the same as for our clients, and also for Serbian citizens applying for loans here in Serbia, the risk assessment we make is income-based, and supported with relevant employment contracts. As for securing the loan, it is the real estate the client is buying with mandatory down payment", it was explained for national RTS.

Obviously, the pandemic has not affected the construction industry – real estate purchases increased by two percent last year only and the construction turnover by eight percent. The average price per square meter is up; 75% of all closings are done for cash.

"It is stipulated by law that only countries that have reciprocity with the Republic of Serbia, their citizens can become real estate owners in Serbia. To name the countries where there is no such reciprocity and hence no possibility to buy real estate: Macedonia, Iran, India ... At this moment, between 10 and 15 percent of our tenants are non-residents ", it was reported by Belgrade Waterfront sales department.

Russians and Chinese buy real estate abroad the most. Russians, for example, can now take out a loan in Serbia as well, under conditions similar to those they receive in their country, and we also offer luxury apartments tailored to their needs.

All this raises the question of whether it is sustainable, with the current regulations, to expect our cities to take on the diversity of the population similar to New York or London.

"We do not have a regulation stipulating a value of the real estate as a precondition for obtaining residence. However, such provisions may be found in some 70% of countries in the world. So many foreigners decide to buy and invest in real estate in those countries because they are interested in having a residence," to school their children or to go for medical treatment. This especially applies to people from countries that come from the third world," it was explained by Mr. Nenad Djordjevic from Cluster real estate company.

The Greeks have a program called a Golden visa that guarantees permanent residence to those who invest more than 250,000 euros in real estate. Americans guarantee permanent residence for buyers of real estate worth over 1 million dollars.

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