Global Spotlight: Alluring European Locales


A villa in the Algarve region of Portugal

Casaiberia Real Estate

Lagoa, Portugal

Paulo Lopes, CEO 

https://www.casaiberia.com 

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Tell us about your company. 

Casaiberia, established in 2007, stands as a prominent figure in Portugal’s real estate realm. With a diverse, multilingual team, our roots intertwine with Portugal’s international allure, embracing first-hand experiences of relocation and property acquisition. Our strength lies in a vast network of local professionals, fostering seamless transactions for both Portuguese clients and foreign clients navigating the complexities of international real estate. 

How would you describe your current housing market?

Inventory is a precious commodity, and homes are becoming pricier, averaging around €800,000 (approximately $876,748 USD). Luxury properties outpace their modest counterparts, triggering a heightened interest in opulent living.

In this unfolding housing narrative, detached villas reign supreme, coveted for their scarcity and adorned with sought-after amenities: captivating sea views, expansive terraces, outdoor living spaces and the alluring potential for short-term rentals during the summer months.

What are some of the most important trends in your market? 

In the dynamic world of Portuguese real estate, Greater Lisbon takes center stage, not just as the capital and financial hub, but also riding high on a tourism surge. A notable shift is the influx of digital nomads who’ve found a haven in Lisbon, drawn by the lifestyle, cost-effectiveness and the abundance of co-working spaces. The introduction of a digital nomad visa has turned short-term rentals into a thriving venture, especially in Lisbon’s historic city center. 

What are your biggest challenges/opportunities for growth? 

The Portuguese population is grappling with diminishing buying capacity, confronted by the escalating fees and interest rates that show no signs of abating in the foreseeable future. This transformation underscores a critical juncture, as the dream of property ownership becomes increasingly elusive. 

What trends are you seeing when it comes to foreign investment? 

Luxury property dynamics reveal intriguing trends among foreign buyers, with Brazilians leading the pack, trailed by North Americans, Germans, Brits and the French. Exclusive retreats can be found in resort areas like Estoril and Cascais, offering a mix of 19th century opulence and modern villas that can command prices up to 16 million euros. 

Portugal maintains its allure as a prime destination for foreigners seeking to purchase or rent homes. The country’s mild climate, high quality of life, safety and diverse leisure activities continue to captivate those who explore its offerings. Moreover, the government’s tailored programs and fiscal regimes further attract foreigners and digital nomads to live in Portugal, enticing them to invest in a home in exchange for residency authorization.

How does being part of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® support your business? 

Being part of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® is more than a membership; it’s a cornerstone of our success, amplifying our local expertise on a global stage. This prestigious affiliation is not just about referrals; it’s a testament to our commitment to excellence and service delivery, awarded only to market-leading firms.

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This architectural gem is housed in an authentic historic building in Prague

Philip & Frank 

Prague, Czech Republic

Filip Sejvl, Founder and CEO

https://www.philip-frank.com 

123 image 1Tell us about your company.

Philip & Frank was established in 2015 in Prague as a boutique real estate agency. In the past eight years, we were able to grow our business so that we can provide our services outside the capital city of Prague. Our mission is to provide comprehensive services in property sales, rentals and property management for residential and commercial properties. 

How would you describe your current housing market?

Our average home price is approximately $1,970 USD per square foot. Although the Czech Republic has high interest rates compared to some markets (approx. 6%), and the number of sales has decreased, prices in Prague are rather stable. We expect a decline in interest rates in 2024 and an increase in sales, as well as prices.

What types of properties do you sell, and which are most popular?

The most popular properties in Prague are condos in historical buildings. In the suburban areas, the market is dominated by single-family homes or modern type condos.

What home features or amenities are popular with your buyers?

Open-plan kitchens, smart homes, built-in storage. Due to Prague’s specific character—narrow streets, crowded downtown, etc.—everything should be within walking distance to grocery stores, theaters, schools, public transport, etc. 

What are some of the most important trends in your market?  

The price of homes in Czechia have risen by 64% within the last five years. The recent increase in interest rates and the decrease in the demand for purchasing properties in Prague have created a pressure on the rental market. Czechia, compared to other Western European countries, has a very high percentage of people living in their own homes (80% in Czechia compared to 46% in Germany). 

Large real estate funds are slowly taking the chance to focus on rental markets, building large rental residential areas and apartment buildings.

What trends are you seeing in foreign investment, and what advice do you have for foreign buyers? 

Due to its historical monuments, culture, tourism, low criminality, etc., Prague is very attractive for foreign investors. While there are many buyers from Western Europe (e.g., Germany, Italy, France, etc.), many Russian investors left Prague because of the war in Ukraine. 

Buy anything that’s in the historical downtown of Prague because the prices will never go down again. Compared to other major Western European cities, the prices are still relatively low. 

What do you love most about living in your area? 

The culture and history, public transportation system and low crime rates are the most important elements for me. 

How does being part of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® support your business? 

Our membership in LeadingRE means more than just referrals from all around the world. We became members of a global family that share common values. LeadingRE supports our local brand with international touch. 

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Nestled in a rural countryside setting is this spacious villa in Croatia

San Patrik Real Estate

Zagreb, Croatia

Ivan Varat, Founder and Managing Director

https://sanpatrik.eu/en 

124 image 1Tell us about your company. 

I embarked on my professional journey in the real estate industry in 2017 with a major international real estate agency. In 2020, amidst the COVID-19 crisis, I decided to leverage my own strengths and founded San Patrik Real Estate. We currently operate from our main office in Zagreb.

How would you describe your current housing market?

The Croatian real estate market is undergoing a “cooling” period, reflecting trends in key external markets, especially Germany. The global trends further enhance caution among investors and buyers in the Croatian market. This cooling is the result of several factors: an increase in mortgage interest rates from 2% to 4%, the end of state subsidies for the young and a continuous increase in real estate prices over the past eight years.

Following two significant earthquakes in 2020 and a traditional Croatian inclination to invest in real estate, there’s been a rise in demand and prices for new constructions. The inventory of new buildings is still low, but as the market cools, supply and demand are beginning to equalize.

What types of properties do you sell, and which are most popular?

New constructions, including apartments and condos, are most sought after, especially in the two most developed markets. In Zagreb, properties are predominantly bought for living or investment in short-term or long-term rentals. On the Adriatic coast, new constructions near the sea and luxurious houses with pools offering privacy are highly sought after. 

What home features or amenities are popular with your buyers?

In Zagreb, condos in new constructions near public transport and social amenities are particularly attractive, while on the coast, apartments closer to the sea are preferred. For luxury properties on the coast, the trend is that luxury real estate implies not only high-quality construction, pool and wellness area, but also location in the first row to the sea, privacy, spaciousness, ecological sustainability and proximity to airports.

What are some of the most important trends in your market?  

With Croatia joining the Schengen area and adopting the euro as its currency in 2023, along with constant infrastructure development, there’s an increasing number of EU foreigners opting to buy second-home properties. The demand for top-quality new constructions in attractive locations persists. Despite the market cooling and a decrease in transactions, property prices in attractive locations are unlikely to fall due to limited supply.

What are your biggest challenges/opportunities for growth? 

The biggest market challenge is inflation and the European Central Bank’s interest rate hikes. We’re transitioning to a buyer’s market, adapting to new market rules. Significant growth opportunities lie in artificial intelligence and big data.

Are you seeing much foreign investment? What advice do you have for buyers outside your area?  

Croatia is influenced by its largest trading partners, Germany and Italy. Most foreign property buyers come from Germany, Austria and Slovenia. German market changes have reflected in Croatia, with a decrease in foreign buyers, but we expect an increase in foreign investors in the long term.

We advise foreign buyers to thoroughly research Croatia’s geographical and economic aspects and consult professional real estate firms, lawyers and financial advisors to maximize investment potential and enjoy the benefits of living in Croatia.

What do you love most about living in your area? 

The capital city of Zagreb, with a population of about a million, offers a great balance for business and relaxed everyday living. Its central location allows easy access to both the Adriatic coast and the ski resorts in the Alps. 

How does being part of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® support your business? 

The symbol of excellence that comes with LeadingRE membership reaffirms that we’re on the right track. The contacts with colleagues worldwide, especially from countries interested in the Croatian market, along with marketing tools, education and conferences organized by LeadingRE, greatly support the growth and development of our business. 

For more information about Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, visit https://www.leadingre.com/.





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