With the country gaining popularity as a holiday destination in the last couple of decades, it’s no surprise that interest in property in Croatia has gone through the roof in the same period.
Unfortunately, purchasing property in the country hasn’t always been that straightforward for foreigners. Because of the number of hurdles involved in some situations (both in terms of purchasing a property and also in terms of the deeds to some properties being rather convoluted and messy due to split ownership amongst some families), interest in property in Croatia dropped sharply in the last five years or so.
Of course, Croatia joined the EU on 1st July 2013 and it was expected that this would make property purchases easier for foreigners, particularly citizens of other EU countries. However, it’s still something of a messy process, and some of the likely benefits of Croatia now being in the EU haven’t quite materialised.
However, don’t let any of this put you off! If you are considering purchasing a holiday home in the country to enjoy with your friends and family over the years, then we say – go for it! Take a look at some of the companies mentioned in these pages (as well as the articles listed here) to get yourself started, and to see what kind of thing is available where in the country, and for what price. Unfortunately, you may find that some properties tend to be over-priced (having been put on the market by owners who don’t really want to sell, but will if they get a good offer), but keep looking and we are sure you’ll find something to suit your needs for a good price.
Short Descriptions of Regions
We’ll now give a short description of the main regions of Croatia, to help you decide where in the country you may like to purchase your property.
There’s easy and inexpensive access to this region, including by public transport, from Italy (e.g. Trieste, Treviso, Venice). Istria is often called “the Croatian Tuscany” – there are lovely historic coastal towns (Porec, Rovinj, Pula) whilst the interior is very picturesque. The climate includes warm summers and cooler winters. Property is quite expensive due to high demand and Istria’s proximity to the rest of Europe. Istria also has its own airport (Pula Airport) which is well linked to the UK and elsewhere in Europe.
The main town is Rijeka, which has an airport on the nearby island of Krk and also has reasonable access from Zagreb (the bus/train journey is just over 3 hours). Lovely coastal resorts include Opatija and Novi Vinodolski, and its islands (Krk, Cres, Rab and Pag) are sometimes overlooked in favour of the more popular Dalmatian islands – but they are no less wonderful. The climate is warm in the summer but some winter days can get quite cold. Bargains are a bit difficult to find as this area is close to the Croatian interior and therefore popular with many Croats.
Some lovely historic towns (Zadar, Sibenik, Trogir) and small coastal resorts between them. Warm in the summer with mild winters, although some strong winds occasionally. Some bargains to be had, particularly in the smaller towns! Zadar Airport has great connections to Europe, with flight connections to the UK as well. There are also international ferries from Zadar to Italy.
Central & Southern Dalmatia
The main city in the region is Split, which has truly excellent transport links to the rest of Croatia – as well as great air links to UK/Europe, and ferries over to Italy. The Makarska Riviera and the ancient town of Dubrovnik are amongst the most attractive places, although both these locations are quite expensive, especially due to the popularity of the latter. The islands of Brac, Hvar and Korcula are very picturesque and popular in summer with tourists, so some properties can be pricey. Very warm summers and mild winters.
There are thousands of them (literally – although only about 60 are inhabited) – just take your pick. On the other hand, if you are really determined, you could splash out and purchase a whole Croatian island of your very own! Don’t forget to factor in travelling from/to the mainland, especially for larger items (i.e. furniture) – island life is not for everyone. Alternatively, some of the islands are connected to the mainland by bridge, such as Krk and Pag.
As Croatia’s capital, property in Zagreb can be relatively expensive although it is still cheaper than comparative property in other European capitial cities. Many smaller towns in Northern Croatia, in which property is very cheap, are close to Austria and Hungary and might be suitable for those wanting the quiet, rural life.
More Information on Living/Purchasing Property in Croatia
- Croatia Holiday and Home Invaluable advice for those looking to purchase property in Croatia, whether as a holiday home or to rent out
- Croatia Online Blog by Jane Cody who has been there, done that (i.e. secured property and is currently living in Croatia)
- Take a look at our Property in Croatia forum (and our Living in Croatia forum) for advice, or to ask your own question
Articles on Property in Croatia
- Dubrovnik and The Italian Lakes are second-home hotspots for British buyers (Homes & Property, 31st July 2015)
- Croatia: The pleasures of the Adriatic, but without Italian prices (The Independent, 3rd June 2012)
- House Hunting In…Croatia (The New York Times, 20th July 2010)
- Istria in the making (The Daily Telegraph, 11th February 2006)
- They do like to be beside Dubrovnik (The Daily Telegraph, 22nd May 2004)
>> Check out our Buying Property in Croatia page