Help & Advice
Here we have listed some popular questions
and answers regarding property investment in Slovakia. If you have a
question that is not listed here then please send
us an email and we will do our best to assist you. We also have our
own blog that we update reguarly with different news and articles
regarding the property market. Click
here to view our blog.
are the best places to invest in Slovakia?
I obtain finance or a mortgage in Slovakia?
much money should I invest?
is the safest way of investing in Slovakia?
it possible to build a ‘buy to let’ portfolio in Slovakia?
am nervous about dealing with a foreign agent, how do I know I can
What are the pro's and con's with new or off-plan builds?
am thinking of investing in a new build or off-plan property, is this
the best place to put my money at the moment?
have these concrete flats proved to be such a successful investment for
have seen cottages for sale in Slovakia for £5000, would this be a good
have been looking at ski resorts and apartments, is this a good
seem to favour building and renovating over a straight financial
thought of trying to manage a renovation or build myself abroad is
daunting, how do you do it?
an off-plan property in Bratislava still a good investment option?
Where are the best places to invest in Slovakia?
The golden question! Well to be honest, there are lots of
good investment opportunities in Slovakia and not just in Bratislava.
Making money from property developing requires the following, knowing
the market and location you wish to develop in. Supply a demand in that
location and work to a strict budget. If you follow these rules then you
can make a profit from developing property virtually anywhere in
What is the safest way of investing in Slovakia?
As in any field of business there is never a risk free
scenario, what you can do is to control the variables that may effect
your investment. You should research the market, speak to us and discuss
your goals and together we can look at different options and establish
an exit strategy for your investment. You may wish to look at a
renovation project or a longer-term investment project. Whichever it is
we can help you look at your options to make sure they are profitable
when your project matures. Do not over-stretch yourself financially and
don’t rely on rental income to make repayments on any finance or a
Can I obtain finance or a mortgage in Slovakia?
The answer to this in short is yes; there are some
favourable deals to be found in Slovakia. The mortgage process is fairly
simple and involves you providing the same sort of information, as you
would have to in the UK.
Is it possible to build a ‘buy to let’ portfolio in
We would class this type of strategy as ‘high risk’ and in
our opinion it would cause you problems due to the dynamics of the
Slovak property market. The major factor is that there just isn’t a huge
rental market in Slovakia; around 70% of the population owns their own
property. This is down to a number of reasons including the following.
The socialist government that was in power until 1989 provided free
housing to married citizens. The Slovak people now have access to
mortgages, finance providing a good incentive for them to buy. Due to
the good access to finance it also throws a shadow on the prospective
rental market. People that are renting may not have access to finance
due to a poor credit history. They may be in short term employment; 2
years continues employment is required for a successful mortgage
application in Slovakia. In our experience, all these things can be
indicators for problem tenants.
I am thinking of investing in a new build or
off-plan property, is this the best place to put my money at the moment?
If you invest in the right location at the right time then
you can make a profit on your investment on these types of purchases due
to the rise in the market, though there are more profitable options
depending on how long you intended on investing for. Though not as
glamorous, we have seen a much better return when investing into the
domestic housing in Slovakia. The majority of people in Slovakia live in
the large concrete blocks of flats situated in every town in Slovakia,
you would have seen them if you have ever visited Bratislava. These
types of blocks date back to the socialist period and were built and
paid for by the state. They are the bread and butter of any
sales/reality agent in Slovakia and have shown us a return of 100%
between 2007 and 2008. That’s correct, the value of our portfolio of
these properties doubled in that 12-month period. That’s not a green
flag for you to go and plunge your money into buying these types of
properties. A good knowledge of local areas and rising markets is a key
factor when investing into renovating these types of properties.
What are the pro's and con's with new or
The pro's with new or off-plan builds are that they
offer a hands -off approach to investing in Slovakia, no building,
renovating or getting your hands dirty. There are also good discounts
that can be negotiated if the buildings are off-plan as building work
has not yet begun. The con's are that they are usually more expensive
than the type of housing the majority of people in Slovakia are used to.
This can lead to problems renting the property or selling the property
when you wish to take your money out of the investment as they are
significantly more expensive. There can also be problems with poor
workmanship, having somebody on the ground to snag these problems at the
different build stages is essential. There can also be delays with
these types of properties, putting stress on finances if you are relying
on the completion of a property for rental purposes.
Why have these concrete flats proved to be such a
successful investment for you?
The answer to this question is supply and demand, there just
isn’t enough affordable housing in Slovakia and many of the newly built
properties carry a price tag that is out of reach of the average Slovak
citizen. The concrete flats are affordable and are what people are used
to and have grown up with. Slovakia’s version of the UK’s semi
detached. We buy these units in an old state and re-fit them with modern
kitchens, bathrooms and flooring etc and wait for the market to rise.
These types of properties are also easier to rent, as they are more
affordable to the average guy on the street. The real key to investing
in these types of properties is knowing when to buy and when to sell.
You really need an ear to the ground as they are mostly advertised
locally directly by the owner and in a fast market are usually sold
within a day or so.
I have seen cottages for sale in Slovakia for
£5000, would this be a good investment?
Probably not. The same rules apply in Slovakia as they do in
the UK; if something looks too cheap then it’s been priced that way for
a reason. The property could be situated in a small village in the
middle of nowhere. It may have building issues e.g., it’s falling down
and has no roof. Common sense is the key and you should approach
property developing in Slovakia the same way you would in the UK. We do
invest in old houses and cottages but tend to invest in properties and
land on the fringes of area’s that have already experienced good growth.
A good example of this would be Donovaly and Skalka ski resorts in the
centre of Slovakia. We have invested in properties and land not on these
resorts but very very close to them. The land and old buildings can be
purchased very cheaply and as a mid to long-term investment they can
prove very profitable. The land on the ski resorts becomes more and more
expensive as interest grows and people start to look off piste as a
cheaper alternative. An example would be plots of land we purchased in a
small ski resort near Skalka called Krahule. They were valued at £7000
per 400 metre square plot in 2006. We are currently selling these plots
in 2008 for £22,000 per 400 metre square plot.
I have been looking at ski resorts and apartments,
is this a good investment?
There are a number of ski resorts and many slopes in
Slovakia; the major one’s being the Tatra Mountains in the east and
Donovaly in the centre of Slovakia. The type of property you wish to
purchase really depends on the type of investment you are looking for
and the time period in which you wish to invest. Tourism is growing in
Slovakia though we think it is unlikely it will become a major skiing
destination for the British market though visitor numbers are growing.
The majority of tourists seem to come from countries within the region
of Slovakia like Poland, Czech republic, Hungary, Russia and Germany. If
you have ideas of buying an apartment and renting it out at a premium
to tourists then there are a number of considerations you need to think
about, location being the most important. Email us with your plans and
we will be able to assist you in more detail.
You seem to favour building and renovating over a
straight financial property investment?
As property developers ourselves we never like to just rely
on a rise in the market to add value to our investments. Opportunities
arise along the way that allow you to take advantage of rises in the
market but ‘adding value’ is the key to any property development.
Whether you are building on land, extending a house, converting a loft
or just renovating a flat, adding physically to a property if done
correctly always adds value to the price of a property in a stable
The thought of trying to manage a renovation or
build myself abroad is daunting, how do you do it?
We don’t, we are here in Slovakia 365 days of the year
overseeing our own projects. One of the main reasons we started our
company was to assist other developers in managing their properties and
projects. We offer a complete service and can help you manage yours,
whether you wish to build a house or just have a new bathroom fitted
take a look
here for details…
How much money should I invest?
Our advice would be not to over-stretch yourself and not to
obtain finance for a property that you are going to have to rely on
rental income for to make mortgage payments. An ideal scenario would be
an investment of capital. There are lots of properties to invest in from
as little as £7000 that have potential to make profit on. We purchased
some old studio apartments last year for around £7500 each and spent
£2000 on renovating each apartment. These apartments were valued 12
months later in 2008 at £20,600 each.
I am nervous about dealing with a foreign agent,
how do I know I can trust them?
Your first port of call before contacting an agent should be
to get in touch with us. We can talk through your objectives with you
and we can help you through the whole process. There are also a number
of checks we can do to make sure your agent is bona fide. Take
a look here for more details on the consultancy services we can offer.
Is an off-plan property in Bratislava still a good
There is always a deal to be done, in every city though when
investing in Bratislava in 2008 there are a number of points you should
be aware of.
Visit any UK sales agent and you will probably find that
they will push you towards a new/off-plan property. They are an easy
sale for an agent as everything is detailed in a nice glossy brochure.
There are some good incentives to buy these types of property and some
nice discounts to be had. When thumbing through your sales brochure or
listening to the sales splurge of your property agent, take a step back
and think for a minute about how and when you want to cash-in your
If you plan to sell your property in a number of years for a
handsome profit then you should really be thinking about who will be
buying this property in the future. The average Slovak citizen in
Bratislava lives in one of the concrete panel style flat blocks. They
are relatively cheap compared to the newer luxury flat complexes that
have been popping up all over Bratislava. They are cheap to run and are
affordable to the average Slovak family. These types of property are the
bulk of the Slovak housing market.
Property Development Company Cresco has recognised this
market for cheap affordable housing and has set the ball in motion for
developing a huge housing project in Bratislava called South City. This
development is one of three projects that aim to build thousands of new
affordable flats and houses in and around Bratislava. These properties
will be aimed at the lower to mid segment of the market around the
60,000sk per square metre price bracket.
The question you have to ask yourself is this, is your new
property investment going to be saleable with all these new cheaper
housing projects planned for the future. It’s very easy for an agent to
list a property for sale at a certain price but finding a buyer is a
different story. We’ve seen over priced properties sit on the market for
months and months, even years. The same rule applies to the rental
market, are you relying on rental income to pay the finance on your
property? Is there going to be a rental market for an expensive flat
with all these cheaper options becoming available?
Our advice would be to seriously think about how you intend
to take your money out of your investment when you are ready. If you
are thinking about a new build or off-plan property then research into
the market you aim to sell it too once you are ready to sell.
Alternatively give us a call or send us an email.