«The closure of borders had the biggest impact on the real estate market.» The opinion of the Director of the Montenegrin company MONTBEL
Montenegro is one of the few countries whose authorities did not stop the program of issuing a residence permit in exchange for investment even during the pandemic. The quarantine measures in the country have also weakened — due to the low incidence of COVID-19, many foreign citizens are allowed to enter Montenegro.
Svetlana Barina, Director of the real estate agency MONTBEL D. O. O., told us about the changes in the real estate market of Montenegro during the pandemic.
«The number of transactions decreased when the pandemic started and the country’s authorities imposed a quarantine. Despite this, the demand for real estate remained at a very high level, and in some regions, it even increased.
The closure of borders had the biggest impact on the real estate market. Due to the fact that buyers can not come from abroad and view the purchased housing on their own, many companies have offered a remote display of objects. Another consequence of border closures is an increase in deferred demand. Buyers leave requests for a bunch of properties but wait for the opportunity to come to the country to evaluate the quality of the real estate.
While working in a remote format, we had several interesting deals. For example, not so long ago we received several powers of attorney from a seller from the US and a buyer from the Russian Federation. What’s interesting is that the payer was a European citizen. None of these three individuals came to Montenegro, and the deal was done swiftly.
Prices for Montenegrin real estate have not changed considerably. The number of sellers and owners who offer housing with installment payments or artificially reduce prices so that the property can be sold urgently has increased. However, this is not a general trend in the development of the market — real estate prices in Montenegro are still lower than in many EU countries.
Speaking of apartments, they are not in high demand as they used to be. Most buyers are interested in houses. Apartment deals are not as numerous as they were in 2019.
The program for obtaining a residence permit in exchange for investment did not change — in Montenegro, you can get a residence permit, permanent residence and citizenship not only through business or deposits, but also by buying real estate.
Despite the fact that there are no direct flights from the Russian Federation to Montenegro, citizens of many CIS countries are allowed to enter the country. Many Russian citizens travel to Podgorica by Turkish Airlines. Turkish Airlines operates flights from Moscow with a stopover in Istanbul. The company offers a good service to its customers: passengers with a layover and stopover are provided with free meals and hotel accommodation.
I assume that when the pandemic ends and all the quarantine measures are lifted, the market will start to change for the better. It is very difficult to predict price changes because of the current deferred demand.
Interest in real estate in Montenegro is shown not only by citizens of CIS countries, but also by residents of the European Union, the United States, and the Eastern countries.»