Until Austria joined the EU in 1995, foreigners could not buy real estate there. The property market is less developed than in many other northern European countries. Austrian law classifies residential real estate as either for permanent or holiday use. If you buy a property designated for permanent use, you must live in it full-time.
Predominantly Alpine, Austria is blessed with some spectacular mountain scenery. The climate of Austria is temperate. The east of Austria has hot summers and moderately cold winters. The Alpine region of Austria, unsuprisingly, has short summers and long, snowy winters. The rest of the country has a wet, temperate climate. Harsh weather is likely to entail more property maintenance than in milder climes.
Austria is a very clean country with pristine, unspoilt landscapes. It is one of the most heavily wooded countries in Europe with almost half the geographical area covered in woodland. The varied topography of Austria means the range of flora is very diverse. The garden lover may be frustrated by the Alpine winters, however when the snow thaws the colourful Alpine flora is a delight.
Those interested in buying property would do well to consider locations with good access to Austria's fine ski slopes as this will ensure high rental demand through the snowy months. Now demand for property outstrips supply in the most famous ski resorts resulting in many a frustrated search for holiday property. However, the west of Austria has some excellent smaller and less frequented ski resorts connected with a good road network where there are still some high quality holiday properties to be found. Bare in mind that in lesser known resorts in may be harder to find tenants.
Budget on spending up 8-10% above the purchase price on additional expenses such as property transfer tax, land registry fees, notary fees, stamp duty and ownership registration.
Austria is a federal country comprising 9 states - Burgenland, Carinthia, Lower Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol, Upper Austria, Vienna and Vorarlberg.
Vienna is Austria's capital city and has a rich architectural, historical and cultural, especially musical, heritage. The River Danube runs through Vienna. Vienna is a fairly expensive city but the residents of the city are rewarded with a very high quality of life.
Salzburg is famous for being the birth place of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and for being the setting for 'The Sound of Music'. The old city has a distinctly baroque character.
Alpine Flora, Austria
Salzburg Garden, Austria