STA, 29 November 2021 - The newspaper Večer writes about the "vicious circle" of soaring prices of residential properties in Slovenia in Monday's commentary, finding that for many home ownership is becoming out of reach.
The piece, headlined Vicious Circle [Rast cen nepremičnin: V začaranem krogu], notes that 94% of residential real estate in Slovenia is in private ownership, and now the question is how to buy a home given the soaring prices.
"After the latest hikes in real estate prices with up to over 8,000 euro (!) per square metre in Ljubljana, it is clear an ever smaller circle of people can afford a property [...]
"We have entered a vicious real estate circle that many do not see a way out of," writes the paper, noting that only this year prices in some locations have risen by 40% compared to 2015 and used flats cost almost as much as new ones.
The paper notes that young people buying their first home or families that would like to move on getting a child are pressed hardest. "If they do not have savings or have won a lottery, buying a roof over your head is all but mission impossible today."
It is no easier renting a flat considering the lack of rental housing. "For non-understandable reasons the state is holding back construction of rental housing that could in the future at least partly mitigate the raging of property market prices."
STA, 17 November 2021 - The prices of apartments and houses have been rising rapidly since the real estate market started recovering in March. In the first half of the year, they rose by around 8% year on year, the highest six-month growth since the 2008 real estate crisis, according to the Surveying and Mapping Authority (GURS).
The prices were pushed to a record high level in the first half of 2021 by the record high rise in prices of apartments in multi-apartment buildings in major towns, except Ljubljana.
In Koper, Kranj, Celje and Maribor the prices jumped by 10-12%, GURS says in today's report on the real estate market in the January-June 2021.
The median price for used flats in multi-storey buildings at national level reached EUR 1,980 per square metre.
After exceeding EUR 3,000 per square metre for the first time ever in the second half of 2020, the median price for Ljubljana apartments stood at EUR 3,250 per square metre in the first half of this year. The record growth in the capital was achieved in 2018, when the prices surged by 15% year on year.
At the coast, the median price of used apartments was EUR 2,700 per square metre, in Kranj EUR 2,520, in the northern and southern Ljubljana area EUR 2,500, in Celje EUR 1,600 and in Maribor EUR 1,550.
"The high growth in housing prices is on the one hand driven by strong demand, encouraged by low interest rates and the availability of money, and on the other hand by limited supply of new-build properties," GURS said, adding that low interest rates encouraged both purchases of properties for own use and as investment.
The prices are being inflated also by the rising prices of building land, and indirectly construction costs as a result of globally rising prices of transport and construction material due to the pandemic.
The high prices of apartments are also driving an increase in demand for construction land, and a construction expansion. "This is the most evident in Ljubljana, where the current and planned construction of new housing buildings can already be compared to the pre-crisis period before 2008," GURS said.
GURS expects housing prices to continue to rise until the supply exceeds the demand. At the moment most new apartments in major towns and tourist areas are sold before they are built despite the record-high prices.
In the first half of 2021, transactions in flats and building land were level with the second half of last year, at 8,350, which is almost 30% higher than in the first half of 2020, which was marked by the Covid-19 pandemic. Compared to the first half of 2019, they were down by 5%, GURS said.
Since the start of 2019, the transactions were up the most in the second half of 2020, by almost 30% compared to the first half of 2020.
At the start of 2021, transactions were first down somewhat, reaching a second bottom since the start of the epidemic in February (the first being recorded in April 2020). Real estate started selling again after the third wave of the epidemic in March. At the end of the first six months, translations already exceeded pre-epidemic figures.
STA, 25 October 2021 - A new housing estate called Novo Brdo was inaugurated in Ljubljana on Monday. Located in the south-western part of the city, it is set to become one of Ljubljana's largest neighbourhoods, where 498 vulnerable families and individuals are to be housed.
Črtomir Remec, the director of Slovenia's Housing Fund, said that the Novo Brdo estate is "the second part of a trilogy of investments" made possible by a EUR 50 million loan from the Council of Europe Development Bank.
"The Novo Brdo neighbourhood project, which also marks the Housing Fund's 30th anniversary, was carried out in cooperation with the Ljubljana Municipality and is the largest among the projects that recently provided a total of 1,887 new housing units," he added.
In addition to the new housing units for young people already provided in Ljubljana this spring, Remec announced that another 212-apartment neighbourhood in Maribor is due to be completed next year.
Remec also announced a new cycle of 10 projects with 906 planned housing units that is being lined up, for which the Housing Fund will seek a new loan from the Council of Europe Development Bank.
"A home is a commodity whose value is certainly best understood by those who do not have it," Environment and Spatial Planning Minister Andrej Vizjak said at today's opening ceremony, adding that these are most often young families and individuals dealing with housing issues for the first time.
"It is the responsibility of every government to plan housing policies in such a way that every individual or family is provided with adequate housing within a reasonable time frame," added Vizjak.
He said that he would like to see more such inaugurations, and not only in Ljubljana, but especially in smaller Slovenian municipalities and regions that are experiencing population decline.
The main objective of the housing strategy is therefore to provide additional public rental housing. It is estimated that around 10,000 additional housing units are needed in Slovenia. "The government plans to be able to provide around 5,000 by 2026," added Vizjak.
Today's opening was also attended by Rolf Wenzel, the governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank, who highlighted the Novo Brdo project as a concrete example of one of the bank's main tasks - financing the construction of social or affordable housing.
In the Novo Brdo estate, the Housing Fund expects to provide for a higher living standard, as they want to accommodate several different generations. All the buildings are therefore designed to accommodate young people and families as well as the elderly, they said.
The estate will also host various public services, such as a library and shops, as well as an open outdoor space with plenty of green areas, children's playgrounds and a pond.
Learn more about the project on the official site (Slovene)
STA, 23 September 2021 - Residential property prices rose by 4.5% in the second quarter of the year on the quarter before in the most substantial hike in ten years. The value of transactions was the highest on record, official statistics show.
Data released by the Statistics Office for second quarter shows prices of existing homes (apartments and family houses) in the country rising by an average 4.7% on the quarter before; apartment prices were up by 5% as family houses came 4.2% costlier.
Meanwhile, prices of new homes dropped by 0.7% as prices of newly built family houses fell by 8.5% after an 8.6% increase in the first quarter. Prices of newly built flats rose by 2.6%.
The most substantial hike in prices of second-hand flats was recorded in Ljubljana, at 5.4%, with a 4.1% hike recorded in the rest of Slovenia and a 3.9% rise in Maribor.
Year-on-year, prices of all types of residential properties rose by 9.9% on average where again the biggest increase affected second-hand flats, at 11.2%, and second-hand family houses, at 9.3%, with newly built flats going up by 8%.
Newly built family houses came 2.6% cheaper in a year.
The total value of transactions in all types of homes throughout the country was EUR 459 million, about EUR 162 million more than in the previous quarter and the highest value on record.
A total of 3,993 transactions were recorded, the highest number since the second quarter of 2017. The bulk, 3,927 were second-hand properties. The value of those transactions was a record high of EUR 446 million.
STA, 7 August 2021 - The government has adopted a response to the European Commission's warning that Slovenia does not comply with a directive on the status of non-EU citizens who are long-term residents and their right to buy property. The government argues the Slovenian law is not in breach of the directive as it allows this group to rent housing.
Slovenia was warned on 9 June that its legislation sets a number of conditions to this group of foreign citizens to become eligible to buy property.
The Commission admitted that EU member states have discretion to set such conditions for the purpose of integration, but they must be proportionate.
It said that the directive does not allow detouring from the principle of equal treatment on the basis of these conditions.
In its response, the government says that the directive does not oblige a member state to allow these nationals the right to become property owners.
The government maintains that an EU country meets the requirements from the directive by allowing the non-EU citizens with long-term residence status to rent housing.
The directive does not oblige the country to guarantee them the right to buy property unconditionally, that is under the same conditions as EU nationals.
The government adopted the response, which was prepared by the Justice Ministry, at its correspondence session on Friday.
STA, 8 August 2021 - The prices of old flats in multi-storey buildings in Ljubljana rose by 48% in the period from 2015 to 2020, after the downward price trend reversed in 2015. The median price per square metre reached nearly EUR 3,000 last year. At EUR 2,960, it was record for a third year in a row and 69% above the median price for entire Slovenia.
As Slovenia's business, administrative and university centre, the capital city has by far the most developed property market in the country, the Mapping and Surveying Authority (GURS) says in the 2020 Slovenian property market report.
In recent years, which have been marked by economic upturn and record low interest rates, demand for housing in Ljubljana has been constantly rising.
People have been buying housing in the capital for their own use, as an investment or for rent.
On the other hand, there has been a shortage of new homes, chiefly as a result of a lack of development projects in 2010-2017, GURS says.
"This quickly resulted in excessive demand for housing and a strong growth of their prices in the capital city."
The median price for flats at multi-storey buildings at national level last year reached a record EUR 1,750 per square metre, but EUR 2,960 in Ljubljana.
The highest median prices in Ljubljana were recorded in the statistical area of the city centre - at EUR 3,280 per square metre.
Poorly maintained flats sold for as low as EUR 2,000 per square metre, while two 100-square-metre flats at Villa Urbana sold at as much as EUR 6,500.
The bulk of flats were meanwhile sold at EUR 2,700 to EUR 3,800 per square metre.
New flats sold from EUR 6,800 in the city centre to EUR 2,800 in the Šiška, Črnuče and Sostro boroughs.
An average price for a new flat was meanwhile EUR 3,200 per square metre, tax included, but without a parking lot.
In the 2015-2020 period, housing prices in Ljubljana posted highest growth rates in 2016 to 2018 - that of 12-15% a year.
Housing transactions meanwhile dropped last year, mostly as a result of the epidemic after they were rising from 2015 to 2017 but them dropped a bit in 2018 and 2019.
Transactions in flats and building land in Ljubljana dropped by 20% each compared to 2019, while the drop in transactions in family houses reached 15%.
STA, 5 August 2021 - Property prices kept rising in Slovenia in the coronavirus year 2020 while transactions on the property market decreased. Transactions meanwhile rose in early 2021 to reach approximately the pre-pandemic 2019 levels in April, as prices keep rising, the Mapping and Surveying Authority (GURS) said on Thursday.
The number of housing transactions fell by 17% in 2020 compared to 2019 and business property transactions by 30%, shows the 2020 Slovenian property market report.
"The fall in housing transactions was almost exclusively a result of state-imposed restrictions to contain the epidemic, which limited normal property business for most of the year," GURS said in a statement.
GURS said the large drop in business property transactions revealed the uncertainty of businesses about economic consequences of the epidemic.
Transactions in agricultural land and forests dropped by 12%.
However, the epidemic did not affect demand for housing or building land, as supply of new housing on the market lags behind demand.
As a result, transactions in building land rose by 4%, as more and more people want to build their own family homes.
GURS said this trend is a result of flats in large cities getting more expensive, which drives people to build their homes outside large cities.
Since demand for property outstrips supply especially in urban and tourist areas, prices are growing.
"There is a lot of demand for housing despite high prices because of historically low interest rates and a lot of household savings."
GURS said that low interest rates encourage purchases of homes for own use and as investment.
Housing prices and prices of building land increased by 3-4% in 2020, practically around the entire country, while the growth would have probably been heftier in the absence of the epidemic.
Housing prices continued growing in the first quarter of 2021, also as a result of considerable growth in building material prices, a trend fuelled by a global rise in the prices of transport and materials due to the pandemic.
There are however considerable differences in property prices around the country.
The highest prices have been recorded in Ljubljana, municipalities in Gorenjska region (Kranjska Gora, Bled) or coastal tourism municipalities (Portorož, Piran), as well as in the broader area around Ljubljana (Lavrica, Škofljica, Brezovica, Grosuplje, Domžale, Trzin, Mengeš and Medvode) and in Kranj.
"In these areas the prices have increased the most in the past five years. The exception is the coastal area, where the still hefty growth was not among the heftiest, which means that housing prices in Kranjska Gora and Bled have recently exceeded the prices on the coast."
GURS recorded around 31,800 property transactions in 2020 in the total value of EUR 2.2 billion, down 13% and 21%, respectively, over 2019.
Both figures were lowest after 2015, when the Slovenian property market witnessed a turn in price growth.
Housing transactions accounted for almost EUR 1.5 billion, or two-thirds of the total value of transactions.
STA, 12 July 2021 - The number of housing transactions in Slovenia dropped by 17.5% last year, the second sharpest fall among the 13 EU member countries for which data are available, Eurostat data show.
Data released by the EU's statistics office on Monday show Cyprus seeing the biggest drop in the number of transactions, at 23.3%, followed by Slovenia, Belgium, at 17.4%, and Ireland, at 16.4%.
Only three countries recorded an increase in the number of housing transactions: Finland (+7.7%), the Netherlands (+10.0%) and Denmark (+20.1%).
Eurostat notes the drop in the number of transactions can be linked to lockdown measures, in particular in the second quarter of 2020, which included a temporary suspension of real estate activity.
It also notes that the fall in housing transactions came despite a continued increase in house prices and after nearly all the countries that saw a drop reported an increase in the number of transactions the year before.
STA, 24 June 2021 - Residential property prices in the first quarter were on average 3.1% higher than in the previous quarter and 7.3% higher compared to the same period in 2020. The total value of residential property sold was EUR 297 million, which is EUR 33 million less than in the fourth quarter of last year and about the same as in the first quarter of 2020.
Prices of new residential property (new houses and flats combined) were on average 7.5% higher in Q1 than in the previous quarter.
That means that prices for new houses and flats have gone up for the second quarter in a row, this time up by 8.6% and 7% respectively, the Statistics Office said on Thursday.
Prices of second-hand residential property in Slovenia (second-hand houses and flats combined) increased by 2.9% on average on a quarterly level.
The prices of second-hand houses increased by 1.4%, while second-hand flats were 3.8% more expensive. The prices of second-hand flats increased the most in Maribor (4.6%) and Ljubljana (3.7%), while the average increase in the rest of Slovenia was 3.6%.
At an annual level, the prices of new flats saw the biggest increase (+13.1%), followed by new houses (+9.2%), second-hand flats (+7.5%) and second-hand houses (+6%).
The total value of all residential property sold in Slovenia in the first quarter of 2021 was EUR 297 million, compared to EUR 330 million in the fourth quarter of last year and EUR 289 million in the first quarter of last year.
The total number of residential property sales fell for the second consecutive quarter as 2,538 were sold in Q1, down by around 18% compared to the fourth quarter of last year.
Fewer second-hand residential properties were sold, 2416 with a total value of EUR 271 million, and there were also fewer sales of new residential properties.
Despite the decline in the total number of new residential property sale transactions, the trading volumes were 14% higher quarter-on-quarter, driven by higher sales prices for new residential properties.
STA, 23 June 2021 - A new housing complex with almost 110 apartments for people aged 18-29 was inaugurated on Wednesday in Ljubljana in a bid to assist youths in gaining independence, starting family and securing financial freedom. Monthly rent will be some 150 EUR per person.
The first of its kind in Slovenia, the youth complex in Gerbičeva Street (Skupnost za mlade Gerbičeva), , a student dorm district in the south-western part of the capital, features 109 apartments with either single- or twin-bedrooms.
The facility also includes an intergenerational centre with a multi-purpose room, a common room, a kitchen and cafeteria, an office and an atrium. Residents will have 40 parking spots available along with bike racks and EV charging points.
Housing Fund director Črtomir Remec said at the ceremony that the complex was also available to non-Ljubljana residents, adding that employment or education status was not a condition for getting subsidised rental apartments.
The complex is not intended for young families or students, and a tenant may occupy an apartment for a maximum of three years. First residents are expected to move in at the end of July or beginning of August.
This is the first of the three planned youth housing units, the other two being in western Ljubljana and in western Maribor. All three projects are being co-funded by the Council of Europe Development Bank.
Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković is also pleased with such development. "This is true decentralisation. The more housing units outside Ljubljana means less pressure on the capital," he said, adding this was a "beautiful acquisition."
Environment and Spatial Planning Minister Andrej Vizjak pointed out that Slovenia's long term housing strategy is to substantially increase the number of rental apartments as well as build new ones intended for various social groups.
"This pilot project shows how bringing together different generations can help propel young people towards greater independence and enable them to gain ground in their professional and family life," he concluded.
Development and European Cohesion Policy Minister Zvonko Černač, said that his prior experience in managing a housing fund showed how proper living conditions are one of the fundamental prerequisites for youths to gain independence.