Post-Earthquake Worries See Zagreb Residents Move Out of Centre

Lauren Simmonds

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September the 22nd, 2020 – The Zagreb earthquake is still very fresh in the memories of those of us who woke up to the deafening sound of it and our buildings shaking. It has been half a year since it occurred, but it is unlikely to leave our minds anytime soon. For some Zagreb residents, that and a few other factors has seen them seek land and property outside of the centre of the city.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 21st of September, 2020, back during quarantine, when the economy was locked down, the real estate market almost stopped in its tracks. After the re-opening of the economy – interest in real estate in Croatia is growing once again.

According to insiders, the situation on the market across the country could now be described as almost normal, given that the demand is considerable, while at the same time there is significantly less quality real estate on offer than is required. Along with Zagreb, Rijeka, Osijek, Split, Pula and Zadar are the cities where the offer of apartments for sale has been the most searched lately.

Borislav Vujovic, vice-president of the Real Estate Association at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, told HRT that real estate in the centre of Zagreb had become unattractive to Zagreb residents currently living there and for those considering a move from elsewhere due to the recent earthquake.

He pointed out that the location of the buildings is attractive, but not the buildings themselves. Vujovic said the asking price was about 500 euros lower than before March the 15th, 2020.

“It should be taken into account that the prices of newer buildings in the centre are stable and they are more attractive than they were before. Their prices are rising, but since there are fewer of them, they don’t affect the prices in the city centre,” he emphasised.

Vujovic added that the Zagreb residents who went through the earthquake want to go outside the city and are looking for land to build quality and safe houses themselves. He emphasised that the coronavirus also influenced the departure of Zagreb residents from the centre of Zagreb. “There is an increased interest in more peripheral locations and in houses and land in such locations,” said Borislav Vujovic.

He pointed out that the prices at these locations hadn’t risen as much as land and houses are now being sold on them. “The turnover of houses was much lower than it is today. However, today the situation has changed,” he said.

As for the coast, he said there is great interest from foreigners in buying real estate. “This year there was absolutely demand, our traditional buyers, Slovenians, Austrians and Germans are coming and looking for real estate,” he said.

Vujovic added that foreigners aren’t only looking for apartments located along the first row to the sea, but also houses which are more isolated. Vujovic said that while the collapse of the market didn’t happen, no growth is expected.

He added that those who can take advantage of loan subsidies through APN should absolutely take advantage of it. He emphasised that the situation is different now than it was back in 2008 because we have historically low interest rates on savings and loans. ”It’s difficult to compare the situation then and now,” he said.

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