At the level of the entire Republic of Croatia, the asking prices grew by 4.05 percent for apartments and even 7.73 percent for houses a year ago, and a similar trend was visible when comparing prices from 2019 to 2020.
Apartments up to 60 square meters and houses up to 150 square meters are most in demand
Last year, buyers were most interested in apartments with sizes ranging from 50 to 60 square meters. Only 5 percent of buyers were looking for apartment sized 100 square meters or more. Specifically in Zagreb, apartments of 60 square meters are the most sought-after. There is also great interest in apartment of 40 and 50 square meters.
Almost half of the potential buyers (45%) belong to these three groups, while only 31 % of such apartments are offered for sale. On the other hand, there are more available apartments of 80 square meters on the market than there is demand for them.
In Croatia, houses with 100 and 150 square meters of living space are most in demand. There are fewer of them on offer than buyers interested in them. Houses between 300 and 400 square meters are the least sought after.
After Zagreb and Petrinja earthquakes, the share of real estate for sale in parts of Zagreb closer to the epicenter fell, as did the interest in real estate in those parts. This trend changed after the summer of 2021, when more and more potential buyers started looking for real estate in those parts of the city. We can safely say the earthquakes did not affect prices in the long term.
The average asking price in Zagreb is now 2,297 euros per square meter for an apartment and 1,441 for a house. Prices are still the highest in the city center, where sellers ask for more than 2,500 euros per square meter. Asking prices below 2,000 euros can generally be found on the outskirts of a city – Brezovica, Podsused, and Sesvete.
Increase in interest for smaller communities around Zagreb and neighboring counties
Some buyers are increasingly thinking about moving to smaller counties around Zagreb. Last year, Zagreb, Krapina-Zagorje, and Virovitica-Podravina counties recorded the biggest gap between supply and demand, where the demand for houses exceeds the supply.
Demand greater than supply is also present in Karlovac County and the City of Zagreb.
When discussing houses, over the past two years, Karlovac County recorded a 21 % increase in the price per square meter. Prices are still very affordable compared to apartments, with the average asking price of 657 euros.
We should clarify here that it is not a question of a literal lack of houses on the market, but the fact they do not meet the demand conditions. For example, in the City of Zagreb and the County of Zagreb, houses of 100 square meters are in exceptional demand, accounting for 12 % of the entire demand, while only 6 % of the supply is in the same category.
In general, almost half (43%) of buyers in this area are looking for houses ranging from 75 to 150 square meters, of which only one-quarter of the total offer of houses stands for sale. They are less interested in homes over 200 square meters that are widely available.
On the other hand, there are more houses available on the market than the demand for them in the coastal counties, with the exception of Dubrovnik-Neretva county and in the interior.
In Slavonia, the demand for houses is only slightly higher than the supply.
This trend is not reflected in the asking prices, so Dubrovnik-Neretva, Split-Dalmatia and Istria are still the counties with the most expensive square meters of houses.
Prices fell for a short time in the pre-season of 2020, but at the end of the summer of the same year they continued to rise. In Dubrovnik, the average price per square meter is as much as 4,151 euros, in Split, 2,033 euros, and in Rovinj, 2,620 euros.
However, it should be noted that, among the mentioned cities, in the past two years, Dubrovnik has recorded a slight decrease in asking prices for a square meter of house. Split has seen an increase in asking prices during the same period, and Rovinj has been stable throughout.
In the past two years, the asking prices of apartments on the coast have also increased. For an apartment in Split, the average asking price is 2,974 euros per square meter (+11.24%), in Zadar 2,398 euros (+12.37%), in Rovinj 3,336 euros (+28.21%), and in Dubrovnik, which is the only one among them to see a decline, the average demand is still the highest, i.e. 3,575 euros (-6.61%). The asking prices of apartments in Rijeka increased by 22 percent in the past two years, so now the average price per square meter is 1,879 euros.
Low prices and low demand for square meters in the counties that lost the most residents
The Vukovar-Srijem county, which has lost almost 20 percent of its residents in the last 10 years, records an average asking price of 455 euros per square meter, which is 4.4 percent less than in 2019.
In contrast, Vukovar has seen an increase in the average asking price per square meter of an apartment. Instead of 561, it is now 777 euros.
The same trend is visible in Brodsko-Posavska county. In Slavonski Brod, apartments are more expensive than two years ago, so now the average asking price is 978 euros per square meter, while prices at the county level are declining.
The county of Sisak-Moslavina, which is ranked second when it comes to population loss, does not even record a drop (already low – an average of 512 euros per square meter) in real estate prices, but it should be noted that in these areas, both supply and demand for real estate are extremely low.
The county of Lika-Senj lost as much as 15.8 percent of its inhabitants compared to the previous census, but the asking prices per square meter (average 1,307 euros) are quite high in comparison to other counties with pronounced population decline.
The average asking price of 960 euros per square meter of an apartment in Gospić is low compared to the rest of the county. The average asking price is raised by tourist destinations along the coast and in the interior of Lika (Senj, Novalja, Plitvička Jezera).
According to experts, apart from the coast, foreigners are also looking to buy holiday homes in destinations like Zagreb and Gorski Kotar.
The director of the Opereta real estate agency and our permanent client, Borislav Vujović, reveals how customers “breathe”. As a result of the earthquake and the epidemic, there is a greater demand for houses and land in the vicinity of Zagreb compared to the city center, where the sale of old apartments has slowed down a lot, and new buildings are an absolute hit. Apartment prices are very high for buyers’ purchasing power, so the Zagreb ring will be more and more interesting – explains Vujović, adding that the ongoing inflation will make real estate prices rise for some time to come.
When it comes to the interest of foreigners, as interpreted by Vujović, Istria is even more interesting to them than before, and they like Gorski Kotar and Zagreb more and more. – The demand trend for apartments has changed, and holiday homes with swimming pools are sought after. Buyers from abroad buy a “second home” in Croatia, they have different needs from residents, and our prices are also low compared to prices in the EU – concludes Borislav Vujović.