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Who Will Profit Most from New GUP?

Investors, project designers and construction companies appear to have all gotten what they wanted from the new Urban Development Master Plan (GUP) – the opportunity to build throughout Zagreb in a much less constricted way. The paper lists the...

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Property News


Croatian property laws pose hurdle in EU accession process


By Natasa Radic for Southeast European Times in Zagreb – 10/01/07

For the time being, Croatia will not take part in negotiations on the EU free movement of goods and capital. During the screening process, EU experts concluded that Croatian property law does not comply with European standards, and must be adjusted.

"A large number of legislative restrictions still exist," the European Commission reported. "Citizens of EU countries do not enjoy the necessary rights that would enable them to obtain property in Croatia."

As a burgeoning tourist destination, Croatia has great appeal as a potential property market for foreigners. EU residents are especially interested in purchasing holiday summer houses and apartments along the coast. However, Eurosceptics in the country are not keen to open the property market to foreigners, fearing an immediate sellout.

Under current law, foreign citizens and enterprises seeking to own property in Croatia must obtain consent from the foreign ministry, which must be co-signed by authorities at the justice ministry. The process can take years.

In deciding on each application, the foreign ministry examines whether there is reciprocity between Croatia and the applicant's state in real estate matters. For the nationals of Italy, Germany and Austria, the procedure is the quickest, since reciprocity is well-established. That is, a vast number of Croatian citizens living in these countries have purchased property there.

Foreign citizens and enterprises cannot acquire ownership of agricultural or forest land in Croatia. If the object of acquisition is a protected cultural monument, it is first offered to the authorities -- federal, regional, and municipal. Only if they decline to exercise their pre-emptive right to purchase can the property be offered to foreign citizens and enterprises.

Other EU members with a significant focus on tourism have run into issues similar to Croatia's during the accession process. A case in point is Malta, where negotiators took seven years to complete a liberalisation of the country's real estate market.

Croatia should complete the liberalisation of its market by 2009, according to previous agreements signed with the EU.


Other News:

Zagreb Housing Prices Down First Time Ever, 11.12.2007.

Lika Property Prices Booming, 28.08.2007.

Adriatic Property Boom Slowing Down, 28.05.2007.

Real Estate Agencies Feeling Pinch, 23.05.2007.

Over 13,000 Foreign Investors Interested in Real Estate, 21.05.2007.



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