The sea, the mountains, a square meter starting from €1000, and a residence permit when buying a property. Why one should take Montenegro into consideration
- Historical features.
- New-built property risks.
- Deviating from a project is not an option.
- What do you get for this money?
- The Bay of Kotor.
- The Budva Riviera.
- The Bar Riviera.
- The Ulcinj Riviera.
- The icing on the cake.
Located on the south-east of Europe, Montenegro is quite a touristic country, especially among visitors from the former USSR countries. A lot of people consider this charming part of the planet for a permanent residence visited here once or twice. No wonder why it happens: Montenegro has an incredibly rich nature. Mountains, the sea, forests, lakes — here you can find it all. At the same time, Montenegro offers great real estate prices and lots of benefits if purchasing it.
The name of the country stands for «Black Mountain», and in the local language is «Crna Gora». The most common name nowadays comes from Venetian «Monte Nigro».
Montenegro became a sovereign country on the 2nd of June in 2006, after a referendum on May 21st with 55.5% voters standing for the independence of the country and its separation from Serbia. Montenegro joined the United Nations 192nd country on June 28, 2006.
Its official currency is euro (€). However, Montenegro is not a part of Eurozone and doesn’t have the right for money issue, i.e. to print and issue it in circulation. Country’s biggest income comes from tourism. Each year more and more people choose Montenegro as a holiday destination and as a place of permanent residence.
Managing partner of «Montenegrin developers association» and funder of the «MD Realty» project Vyacheslav Mayevskiy told the international estate platform «Realting.com» about Montenegro’s property market.
— Montenegro owns a wide range of segments in the real estate market. Almost everyone can find a property here, no matter the budget. It could be residential complex apartments, condominiums, houses, villas, lands, hotels, — says Vyacheslav. — Property price depends on many factors, such as region, distance from the sea, infrastructure, construction and interior quality, the sea view or lack of it.
It should be said that despite Montenegro is actively developing, residential complexes to buy accommodation in are quite small. For example, a 40-apartment building is already considered as a big complex. Usually, one building has 10-20 apartments. In other words, Belarus’ luxury business-class property is something ordinary for Montenegro. Regularly, they are 5-7 story buildings. Though nowadays they plan to construct higher complexes.
— A destroying earthquake of 7.0 on the Richter scale that took lives of more than a hundred people happened in Montenegro in 1979. That is the reason why now developers give such an importance to the quality of the construction and seismic resistance, — points out Vyacheslav. Country’s building regulations require every construction to be able to resist a 9.5 earthquake. It influences the property prices. Today, a square meter in high-quality residential buildings costs from €1600 to €2400.
In Montenegro, they care not only about the quality of construction but also about risks when buying a new-built property. In order to avoid clients’ money loss when an estate object becomes a long-delayed construction, a 30−30−30−10 payment system is applied. What does it exactly mean? When signing a house purchase contract at the beginning stage, customers pay only 30% of a property price. Other 30% is paid when a building itself is complete. The next payment is made when the final details are finished. And a client pays the last 10% when they officially become the property owners.
— With time, as construction goes on, the prices grow. In one of our projects, in the beginning, a square meter cost €1600. The higher floors cost €2000. At the end, when everything was finished, it already cost €300 more, — remembers Vyacheslav. — Also, there is a possibility to lose an apartment on a preferred floor with a better view, because of customers who buy in bulk when on a project stage, before the property goes on an open market. Imagine, a client wants to purchase 20 apartments for further transactions (resale, leasing, etc.). They get a special price but with the same 30−30−30−10 payment system. The rest of the apartments a developer sells individually. First, objects with the best layout, on the top floors, and with a sea view are sold.
When signing city planning documents, every developer pays straight away for setting up all the communications to the construction territory. Only after the construction can start. It is an obligatory condition that helps to minimize the risks of a suspended project. That is why in Montenegro, they don’t have the «commissioning» term. When the building works are complete, the object is ready for moving in.
— Nowadays, to unify a city architectural style, a developer has to provide a city chief architect with a 3D estate project that has to fit a current city panorama. The Construction Inspection controls the process, — explains Vyacheslav. — Every developer bears financial and criminal liability. Let’s say, a manager owns a villa, a yacht, a car, a plane, and all this becomes banned to be sold and at the end and all the property goes to auction. In addition, the government makes everything possible to avoid double sales. When signing a contract at a notary, the information goes directly to the land-survey and its database. I can easily access the land-survey online and check the status of any property. Moreover, when signing a contract, a notary gets a land-survey extract in a minute. Even if you have already gone to another notary and signed another contract an hour before, it will be stated.
In contrast to Bulgaria, in Montenegro, meters of living space are counted fairly. If in Bulgaria a staircase, divided by the number of apartments on the floor, is considered as living space, in Montenegro only the space that is behind your door is viewed as living.
Also, the price of a square meter includes everything: a quality interior, an air conditioner, sanitary engineering, a fully equipped bathroom with a boiler, furniture, and floor heating, natural oak floor in the hall and rooms, centimetre thick tempered glass in the terraces, as well as stone and stainless steel in the hallway. One can barely find laminated flooring in Montenegro. Almost everywhere in the interior, only natural materials like Italian or Spanish tiles are used. There is a swimming pool in most mid-level residential complexes.
— In Minsk, I saw it only in 2 really expensive business complexes. And its price was about the same as for a usual commercial estate in Belarus. I can’t even imagine how much it would cost in Minsk, and how luxurious the same price property could be in Montenegro, — notices Vyacheslav. — It’s clear that a €1000 square meter apartments economize on something like a cheaper interior and so on, but they still are of quite a good quality. All the buildings are monolithic. The skeletal framework is laid with thermally conductive porous bricks № 20, 8-10 centimetre thick foam plastic, exterior stucco or natural stone.
Square meter price can drastically differ depending on the view of the property. The sea view adds a square meter €200-400. However, Vyacheslav doesn’t recommend to give the sea view such important and pay extra if it’s not a beachfront property due to a quick pace of Montenegro’s development, the view can easily be blocked by a newly built apartment complex.
In addition, the price really depends on the region. Here are the most popular ones.
The Bay of Kotor is considered one of the world’s most picturesque bays and is the best one among the ones in Europe. It is an attractive place for foreigners and special view lovers.
— I would compare this place with the Lake Como in Italy or Norwegian fiords. It’s an outstanding view: you are actually in the bay, towering cliffs of 1200-1300 meters above you, and 18-century-old ancient cities around, — describes Vyacheslav. — Here, a square meter price ranges from €2000 to... infinity. Not without a reason located here Perast town is called a town of millionaires. Besides, iconic elite projects Porto Montenegro, Lustica Bay, and Porto Novi are developed in Perast.
One of the most antique cities of Montenegro, Kotor is situated in the Bay of Kotor.
Gentle sun, warm sand, blue sea, charming wave sound... One can find if all in the Budva Riviera. It is one of the most visited resorts of Montenegro. It is mostly famous for its glorious sandy beaches, spectacular Mediterranean architecture, and rather vivid nightlife.
— This place is perfect for those who love beaches, sea, and parties. The apartment price here starts from €1500. It’s quite a developing area, both with prime complexes with penthouses and swimming pools on the beachfront, as well as cheaper options, — informs Vyacheslav.
This region of the country is loved by Russian speaking society. The Budva Riviera even has three Russian schools.
The Bar Riviera includes a few vacation settlements. The centre of the Riviera is a modern, quickly growing Bar town. It is an exceptionally clean green town with plenty of tourist attractions: the town itself, the Haj-Nehaj Fortress, king Nicola’s palace, a lot of Byzantine monasteries and churches.
— The ones who seek a peaceful, slow-paced lifestyle with a convenient modern infrastructure choose this place. The flat terrain with a lot of high-rise apartment buildings of Yugoslavia times. It is a port town, so it is not pleasant to swim here as compared to the Budva Riviera, — notices Vyacheslav. — Because it is just a town to live but not a tourist destination, both property prices and cost of living here are much lower. Good quality property price here is about €1200-1500 per square meter.
The Ulcinj Riviera typically has the clearest waters of the Adriatic Sea and stable sunny weather with 217 sunny days a year. This region boasts of its basalt sands beaches of a unique grey colour and is good not only for sunbathing but also for the motor system treatment. The heart of the Riviera is a bordering with Albania Ulcinj town, the most southern point of Montenegro.
— There are a lot of Muslims living in this region, that’s is why despite a 13-kilometre long beach, only a few people decide to permanently stay here. It is not as clean as other parts of Montenegro. The city planning is a bit more chaotic. Plus, there are not so many Russians here. Though some people from Tatarstan purchase some properties in the Riviera. A square meter in this place is the cheapest out of four regions. Good quality accommodation can cost only €1000 for a square meter, — shares Vyacheslav.
The biggest bonus of buying a real estate in Montenegro is an opportunity to get a residency in the country. Same as with job placement or other reasons of getting a residence permit in Montenegro. Besides, a purchaser gets full rights to own a property with no restrictions. They can sell, bequeath, officially re-register their estate, and etc.
Moreover, a «Citizenship-by-Investments» program officially opened. It helps foreigners to be granted the citizenship of the country through a €250,000 investment into the economy of Montenegro and a €100,000 payment of fees in the country’s budget.