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After the turbulent 2020 year, investors think twice about Zagreb real estate

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Zagreb, Croatia Copyright Romulic and Stojcic

November 20, 2020 – Trends in life outside major cities triggered by the pandemic have had a greater impact on the decline in Zagreb property sales compared to the consequences of the earthquake, according to the author of an expert article published on HNBlog on Monday.

As Poslovni Dnevnik wrote, the authors of the expert article “The Impact of the Epidemic and the Earthquake on the Real Estate Market in Zagreb in the First Half of 2020” saw Davor Konovac and Carlo Kotarak of CNB analyzing the simultaneous impact of the earthquake that occurred again in March of this year and declared the epidemic on March 11th .

The two experts looked at the formation of real estate prices in Zagreb and built a number of specific indicators for the Zagreb real estate market using data from the Tax Administration on the sale of said property.

10 percent reduction

“The analysis showed that during May and June, the prices of Zagreb real estate sold in the city center and in Donji Grad, where the buildings that were severely damaged during the most intense earthquake were distributed, decreased by 10 percent compared to the same period last year. .

According to that same data, “The number of properties sold in Zagreb in the first half of 2020 has decreased by approximately 22 percent compared to what was sold in the same period last year. At the present time, it does not seem dramatic if we take into account the usual trends in transactions in the years. Previous.

Specifically, Konovac and Kotarak noted that the annual dynamics of the number of properties sold changed again in 2017 with the introduction of the Home Loan Support Program and that a large number of transactions are now concentrated within the short period of time during which support requests are opened.

However, unlike in the past two years, the decline in the number of transactions this time has continued for a significantly longer period, until May 2020, when the number of transactions approached again in parallel with the easing of epidemic measures and a new round of housing subsidies. The average recorded over the past two years.

Konovac and Kotarak said that “the number of properties sold within the city, especially in Donji Grad, where the properties damaged in the earthquake were more distributed, has halved in recent months.” However, they also noted that the low propensity to purchase real estate in Zagreb in the heart of the city center should not be entirely attributed to the earthquake.

“Indicators show that the number and share of transactions related to the earthquake-affected area began to decline a few weeks before the earthquake actually occurred. This decline in activity in the real estate market coincides with the onset of the epidemic when the process of buying and selling real estate was significantly impeded by the application of epidemiological measures.

The reduced activity in this area is in line with the increasing attractiveness of living outside of the city center and new trends in people’s lifestyles that have resulted from the epidemic, such as social distancing or working from home, ” the authors emphasized.

Not only desirable new apartments …

The epidemic is, they say, closely related to the decline in tourism demand in Zagreb. As a result, there is less demand for Zagreb real estate in the heart of the city that would have had a tourist-related purpose, while at the same time, the offer of apartments for long-term rent or purchase in that part of the city is already growing.

Their analysis also suggests that the change in the buyer’s ‘preferences’ for living outside the city center after the earthquake was largely not determined, as is sometimes claimed, by the increased demand for new properties built after 1964 when earthquake building regulations were first enacted. in the city.

Specifically, the comparison of the old real estate price index in Zagreb showed that the price of these buildings located in the old part of the city decreased at the time analyzed, while the prices of properties that were built before 1964 increased in other parts of the city in that period.

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