The number of foreigners investing in real estate in Croatia has been in negative decline over the last few years. According to data from the nation’s Tax Office, in 2010 a total of 5,445 foreigners purchased property in Croatia, dropping a year later in 2011 to 5,087 and down to 3,351 in 2012. Citizens of EU member state countries could first purchase property in Croatia with the same rights as a Croatian citizen back in 2009. There was still a way however for foreigners to purchase property even before 2009, via setting up a company in the country and purchasing the property through the company.
From 2010 there have been 13,883 sale and purchases of properties in the country, with Slovenes the number one foreigners for acquiring property in Croatia, making up 40.86% of the total sales. The Germans (12.66%) were next, followed by the Italians (11.34%), Austrians, Hungarians and Swedes. The majority of foreigners buying in Croatia have money, and are looking for a luxury home close to the sea on the coast with all the trimmings. The capital Zagreb is also slowly becoming more popular to these type of buyers.
The trend however in 2013 did not see any change, with 10% fewer purchases than the year previous. Many local agencies do not see EU citizens as the ‘saviour’ for the Croatian real estate market, but the wealtly Russians.