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Property in Austria: A roundup of the latest news and info

Stay up-to-date on the latest Austrian property news with The Local's weekly roundup.

Property in Austria: A roundup of the latest news and info
Austria's property market has been booming for two years, but there are signs that demand is decreasing. (Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash)

Thinking of buying a house, moving house, investing or just curious about the property market in Austria? 

Here’s our first edition of our weekly property wrap. 

No sign of a price drop in the Austrian property market

Since the start of the pandemic last year, property prices in Austria have continued to increase with no sign of it slowing down yet.

Raiffeisen Research expects prices in the real estate market to keep rising throughout 2021 and interest rates are not expected to increase until 2025.

As a result, demand remains high among investors and private buyers with a recent survey by real estate broker Interhyp AG revealing 73 percent of tenants want to own property.

This coincides with results from the Property Index 2021 by Deloitte that shows new apartments in Austria are the most expensive in Europe at €4,457 per square metre – an increase of 5.84 percent from last year.

This means a 70 square meter apartment costs an average of 10.6 times the national annual salary. 

Gabriele Etzl, real estate expert and partner at Jank Weiler Operenyi / Deloitte Legal, said: “Despite the year of the Corona crisis, housing prices in Austria continue to rise. 

“The rising construction costs and the high attractiveness of real estate as an investment form are the main reasons for this price development.

“At the moment everything indicates that this trend will intensify in the next few months.”

READ MORE: New apartment prices in Austria are highest in Europe

The Austrian National Bank recently warned of overheating in the property market but other experts, like Michael Haller, CEO at Hypo Vorarlberg Bank, are not worried about a possible risk for investors.

Instead, Haller told ORF he expects prices will soon stabilise at the current rate, “with slight fluctuations upwards or downwards” after that.

Additionally, Andreas Luschnig, Manager of Interhyp in Vienna, told the Salzburger Nachrichten that this is a good time to consider housing finance as interest rates remain low.

The cost of renting in Austria is going up

According to the Kronen Zeitung, “private sector rents have exploded” in Vienna with a square metre now costing on average €10.

This means landlords are receiving 50 percent more in rent than they were 10 years ago.

An increase in rent prices in Austria’s capital city is not restricted to the private sector either, with the municipal sector going up by 23 percent and cooperatives by 29 percent in the past 10 years.

FOR MEMBERS: ANALYSIS: Where are real estate prices on the rise in Austria?

However, Innsbruck has been named as the most expensive city in Austria for rent following a study by Immowelt. In Innsbruck, the average rent is €18,80 per square meter.

Towns in the east of Austria, such as Jennersdorf in Burgenland, are the cheapest places to rent where people pay less than €7 per square meter.

Salzburg is the second most expensive city for rent in Austria at €16,0 per square meter.

In July of this year, the average rent price in Austria rose by 1.2 percent due to inflation.

Is it still possible to find a bargain in the Austrian capital of Vienna? Photo by Geula Prochazka on Unsplash

The luxury homes market is booming

The luxury homes property market has performed well throughout the pandemic as wealthy buyers search for more space and a quieter lifestyle outside of the main cities.

This is being driven by a move towards remote work and wealthy Austrian citizens overseas looking for a new base in their home country, according to an article in Der Standard.

Real estate agents in Austria are also reporting an increase in enquiries from people in Germany searching for a luxury home in Salzburg or the surrounding area.

READ MORE: Can foreigners buy property in Austria?

Another article highlighted the luxury property market in the Kitzbühel district of Tyrol, which has increased by 20 percent since the start of the pandemic.

Mortgage Broker Manfred Hagsteiner told Der Standard that some houses are selling for up to €25 million and that the ceiling on prices “has still not been reached”.

Earlier this year, Peter Marschall, CEO at Marschall Real Estate, told The Local that German buyers have been flocking to Kitzbühel in Tyrol due its close proximity to Munich. 

“People want to own a second home in a nice area,” he said.

“The crisis has highlighted these areas to international buyers more than Vienna.”

Did you know?

The City of Vienna has a rent calculator for tenants to find out if they are paying too much rent and might be due a refund.

Rent in Vienna is famously affordable due to rent control rules on buildings built before 1945 which are smaller than 131m2. These high-ceilinged buildings are also known as Altbau.

However, experts predict that 80 percent of tenants could be paying too much rent to live in these properties.

The rent calculator can be found at the City of Vienna website.

FOR MEMBERS: How to find out if you are paying too much rent in Vienna

The property roundup is new addition and we’d welcome any feedback or suggestions for areas it should cover. Please email us at [email protected]

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For members


Do foreigners in Austria have to carry ID?

The short answer is yes—as a foreigner in Austria—you need to both have ID and generally carry it with you. But the police are bound by certain rules as to when and in what circumstances they can ask you for it.

Do foreigners in Austria have to carry ID?

Foreigners in Austria have one obligation that Austrian citizens are exempt from—the requirement to carry identification in Austria. This requirement is in place for any non-Austrian in Austria, so it binds other EU citizens and non-EU foreigners alike.

Depending on the circumstances, Austrian police can ask you to produce identification to verify your identity.

Although Austrian citizens don’t technically have to carry ID, many do anyway in the form of national ID cards. These cards are smaller than a passport, but as they identify the bearer’s nationality as Austrian—foreigners obviously can’t get these. There’s a few acceptable forms of ID you can carry as a foreigner though.

The first is perhaps the most obvious—and cumbersome. You can simply carry your passport with you. Of course, carrying such an important and expensive document with you that’s also larger than standard wallet-sized ID might not be preferable.

However, your residence card is also an acceptable form of ID to carry in Austria—and probably a little more convenient than your passport.

If you’re an EU citizen, you can also simply carry your national ID card with you—if your country has one.

One document that won’t count with Austrian police—should they decide to ask you for ID—is a driver’s licence. Unlike in some countries, where a driver’s licence is an acceptable alternative to a passport for ID, a driver’s licence does not carry the same legal weight in Austria.

All this basically means that if you don’t have a residence card in Austria—either because you’re a tourist or you just arrived and are waiting for your residence card—you may technically have to carry your passport with you.

READ ALSO: How Austria is making it easier for non-EU workers to get residence permits

When can the police ask me for ID in Austria?

The good news is that Austrian police have stricter conditions placed on them than countries like France for example, where police have a great deal of latitude to require people to produce ID.

An Austrian police officer can ask for your ID only in certain situations.

A generic image of an Austrian police car seen in Vienna. Photo: ALEX HALADA / AFP

Austrian Police face tougher limits as to when they can ask you for ID than police in many other countries do. Photo: ALEX HALADA / AFP

First, the officer can ask you for ID if they have reason to believe that you were involved in or witnessed a dangerous act that puts public safety at risk. They can also ask you for ID if something illegal has taken place at your place of residence. Unlike countries like France, simply being in an area where a lot of crimes happen or having the police suspect that you might be about to commit a crime isn’t sufficient grounds to ask for your ID in Austria—even if you’re committed a crime before.

The police may also ask for your ID if they are actively searching for a missing person or escaped prisoner—for example—and want to verify people’s identities as part of that search, or if a public emergency requires them to identify people.

One place where Austrian police can ask you for ID at pretty much any point is at an Austrian airport.

Other than that, police generally cannot arbitrarily ask you to produce ID in Austria. Obviously though, certain service providers can ask you for ID for administrative reasons—such as for picking up an parcel or voting in certain elections.

What happens if I don’t have my ID with me?

If you don’t have valid ID with you and the police have asked you to produce it for a valid reason, be prepared to lose a bit of your day. They may take you to a police station to establish your identity, or accompany you home to get your ID if you’re close by to where you live.

If you don’t possess a valid form of identification at all as a foreigner in Austria, you can face a fine of up to €5,000.

READ ALSO: Visas and residency permits: How to move to Austria and stay long-term