Slovenia: Housing prices continue to rise

Slovenian Surveying and Mapping Authority
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Apartment prices in Slovenia rose by an average of 10% in nominal terms the first half of 2008 compared to the same period last year, according to a report by the Slovenian Surveying and Mapping Authority, which expects prices to go up by another 5% by the end of the year.

A square metre of apartment cost on average of EUR 1,850, but prices range from about EUR 2,800 in Ljubljana and Koper to just over EUR 1,000 in Murska Sobota in the east of the country. The growth in house prices was slower, at about 5%. Prices of commercial property, which plunged last year, seem to have recovered: offices were up 9% on average and bars/restaurants rose 26%.

Agricultural land is getting cheaper, dropping 2% in the first half of this year, while forest prices increased by 10% year-on-year, mostly due to speculative purchases. All the figures are based on actual transactions reported by the Tax Administration, notaries, real estate agencies and municipalities.

The report notes that the findings run contrary to popular belief - based on asking prices - that property is getting cheaper and that the housing bubble has burst. The Slovenian Surveying and Mapping Authority notes that asking prices have dropped due to slower price growth last year, but this just means they are now much more realistic.

It however says that the volume of transactions has dropped significantly, by a third, owing to stagnant purchasing power. Moreover, the number of applications for building permits has decreased as lower demand forces investors to be more cautious.
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