Hotels make up a small percentage of the Croatian real estate market and, unlike residential properties, do not arouse the general public’s interest.
The exceptions are, of course, significant transactions, such as when Eagle Hills Zagreb Real Estate bought a 70 percent stake in Sunce Hoteli, owned by Jako Andabak’s family. However, this does not mean that this part of the market is not attractive, both in supply and demand and the level of asking prices. Slobodna Dalmacija digs into the situation in Split-Dalmatia County.
At the beginning of March, the real estate portal Njuškalo offered about twenty hotels located on the islands and the coast.
Two are currently for sale in Split, one in the city center with 13 rooms and an asking price of two million euros, and the other in Bačvice for 1.2 million euros. In Supetar on Brač, a mini-hotel is on offer for 1.6 million euros, while a boutique hotel in Bol is going for 2.7 million euros.
In Seget Donji, Villa “Panorama” is for sale for 2.2 million euros and a hotel in Dugi Rat for 2.9 million euros. In Podstrana, the asking price for the hotel built in 2017 is 3.3 million euros.
There is no lack of hotels in the Trogir and Čiovo area. One apart-hotel is asking 2.1 million euros, and a second with 11 rooms is going for 2.5 million euros. In Okrug Gornji on Čiovo, a six-story hotel is on offer for 1.8 million euros.
“There are always hotels for sale, but not placed on the website, so the actual offer is much higher,” commented Jasminka Biliškov from the agency “Biliškov nekretnine,” president of the Real Estate Association at the Split County Chamber of Commerce and vice president at the national level, adding that only her agency is currently mediating the sale of ten facilities located in different parts of the county, but none have been publicly announced.
“Part of the owners do not advertise the sale but hire agencies that will do the job discreetly, in a way that the owner of the hotel changes, without even knowing it,” Biliškov explains.
According to her, there is interest in buying, but not excessively, which is confirmed by the advertised hotels having been on sale for some time.
The reason to sell is that some owners no longer want to engage in this activity and have other priorities. At the same time, potential buyers see that there is no quick profit in the hotel industry, that work is reduced to a few months a year, and that they need another source of income, such as a good restaurant.
However, hotels for sale have excellent occupancy for several months and bring profit to their owners. One such example is a hotel in Makarska with a well-established business, with an asking price of 3.35 million euros. Unofficially, Slobodna learns that the owners live abroad, are about to retire, and their descendants have no interest in engaging in this activity.
Hotel management is also a family business in Nemira near Omiš, where an apart-hotel with a restaurant and a swimming pool is going for 2.3 million euros. The owners are older and need help with their work, and as it is challenging to find workers, it was best to sell.
“I do not know why hotel “Lipa” in Postira is for sale, but I can tell you that it is sold for 4.8 million euros,” said Mario Špičić from the agency “Marlimat Nekretnine” in Zagreb, adding that they had only two or three inquiries, even though the sale notice was forwarded abroad.
This is a common practice when a potential buyer from other countries applies to invest in the hotel industry and requests a state of supply in the market.
“The reason may be the price, given the capacity it offers, is high for negotiations,” Špičić says, and emphasizes that the most sought-after land this spring is in camps.
When asked if the number of hotels on the market is known and for what reasons, Špičić replied:
“As far as we know, they are all more or less for sale; only they have not been announced. The condition of the sale is a reasonable price.
Gone are the days when hotels were a family business. Now, the situation is entirely different. First of all, it’s not that someone needs the money. There is no force to sell, it was not the pandemic, and for now, it is not the war in Ukraine.
Today, the approach to sales is simple: ‘I invested in a hotel, made a business, sold it and went on with another business,” he added.
According to the data published on the County Tourist Board website, there were 276 hotels in 2020, including subdivisions such as apart-hotels, hotels, boarding houses, heritage hotels. Out of this, there are 170 hotels, most of them with four stars (111), then three stars (88), and one with one star. It is unofficial that last year the number rose to 280 hotels.
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