There is no unified procedure for property acquisition in Austria. Each federal state and municipality has its own rules and regulations. Nearly everything is different, from the treatment of foreign buyers to registration fees with Land Register (Grundbuch).
There are three main forms of residential property ownership as defined by municipal authorities. Each category has its own rules and limitations for property buyers and owners. It is therefore important for buyers to know what type of property they wish to invest in.
The person permanently registered at this property is a tax resident of Austria and must live there at least 180 days a year. Permanent registration means the individual has a temporary or permanent residence permit. This property can be used by the owner or rented out . In popular tourist areas, 95% of all property is categorised as Hauptwohnsitz.
This type of property is reserved for personal temporary residence, short-term rentals for tourists or long-term rentals for locals.
This type of property is also called
Property can be purchased through full or shared ownership. For example, two individuals (related or not) can buy the house together via the legal form of “property partnership” (Eigentümerpartnerschaft).
Buying an apartment or a townhouse is considered as the purchase of a share of a building from a legal standpoint. The exact share of each apartment in a building can be found out by contacting the cadastral authorities (Grundbuch).
Legal entities registered in Austria have the right to purchase almost any type of property. However, 51% of the company’s ownership must belong to EU citizens or
For visa holders and foreign residents:
After choosing a property, the buyer, agent and lawyer engage the purchase process. These legal procedures can take up to 45 days and registering the property to the Grundbuch can take one week to three months depending on the federal state.
1. Find a property. A local real estate agency offers properties that match your preferences as a buyer. The city, district and your budget are the main things to take into account. Once you have found one or more options that interest you, the agency will arrange viewings. Don’t hesitate to ask your real estate agent any questions about the property, payment procedures or potential discounts.
2. Sign the preliminary sales contract (Kaufanbot) and pay the deposit (sometimes not required). The money is transferred to escrow account.
3. Register the legal entity (if applicable). In many regions of Austria only a company can purchase real estate. A company can be incorporated in 7–14 working days.
4. Obtain permission to purchase property. Non-EU citizens needs special permission from a territorial commission (Grundverkehrsbehörde) of the municipality in almost every region in Austria. It takes 6–8 weeks to obtain this permit.
5. Sign the final sales contract and make the final payment. You and the seller must sign the final sales contract in the presence of a notary public and register it with the tax office (Fiskalverwaltung).
6. Property under construction (if applicable). If the contract is with a developer for property under construction, the money can only be transferred through an escrow account. The third party responsible for the escrow account will remit the funds to the seller at each completed stage of the construction as determined by Austrian law. Independent experts verify the construction at each stage. If the developer fails to get approval for that stage, the funds will not be remitted. The payment schedule is specified in the contract.
7. Register your property on the cadaster (Grundbuch). This can take from one to three months.
Expenses are usually 10–13% of property value and paid by the buyer in accordance with Austrian law.
Property purchase costs Source: help.gv.at
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