Slovenia: Mountains and the Med

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Slovenia has Alpine peaks, pretty harbours – and great prices. Laura Latham reports

For somewhere so seemingly low-key, Slovenia has a lot to offer. Its short coastline has several pretty harbour towns and it boasts some of the most dramatically beautiful scenery in Europe, from rolling farmland dotted with forests and lakes to the snowy peaks of the Julian Alps.

Slovenia's central location (it shares borders with Italy, Austria, Croatia and Hungary) and easy access via an efficient Europe-wide rail network and several low-cost airlines, meant that its property prices doubled between 2004 and 2007 after the country entered the EU. However, as in much of Europe, house values in the region are now starting to stagnate.

According to Frances Sargent, of Slovenian Properties, this makes it a good time to buy. "The market in buy-to-let areas and tourist destinations is pretty dormant right now," she says, attributing some of the problem to the oversupply of new-build homes in such areas as the ski resort of Kranjska Gora and the capital, Ljubljana. "In Ljubljana, things got quite heady at one stage but are now a lot slacker. It means you can definitely negotiate on price."

Average prices in the pretty, vibrant Slovene capital, often referred to as a mini Prague, start at about £200,000 for small, centrally located two-bedroom apartments but can go to more than £800,000 for large or character properties, especially in the historic old town. Sargent advises anyone on a budget to focus on the outskirts of the city, where you will pay from about £120,000 for a small house or decent flat within easy reach of the centre.

For those seeking rural charm at lower costs, she advises steering clear of beautiful but sought-after Lake Bled and Kranjska Gora in the Julian Alps, where prices start at about £130,000 for a two-bed apartment or from £240,000 for a traditional stone house or chalet. Sargent recommends areas such as the Vipavo wine region, near the Italian border, and less developed parts of the lovely Soca Valley. "There are some very pretty areas British buyers don't know about where you'll get far better value," she adds.

In Prekmurje, an area of farmland and vineyards to the north-east of the country, for example, you can find rural homes with several acres for less than £50,000. In Primorska, which is within a 10-minute train ride of the ski slopes of Gorenjska, it is also easy to find good properties at below £100,000, al though some renovation may be needed.

Surprisingly, living on the coast is not as expensive as you might think. Though you can easily pay £250,000 to £500,000 for two- to four-bedroom properties, it's also possible to scout out apartments for less than £100,000, even in the popular historic ports of Pirin and Izola.

Sargent believes that, in the current market, buyers need to think long-term about investing in Slovenia. She says: "The most important thing is to buy something you will enjoy owning and holidaying in, rather than aiming to make a quick buck."



Slovenian Properties: www.slovenianproperties.com





Buyer's guide

Slovenia

*Check that your property agent is authorised by Slovenian authorities, because untrustworthy practitioners are known to operate.

*EU citizens may freely own homes in Slovenia but need a tax number, known as an EMSO. Your estate agent should be able to advise you on this.

*Buyers may be asked to pay part of the property price in cash, so that the vendor can underdeclare any taxable profits. This is illegal – so don't do it.

*New property attracts a rate of VAT at 8.5 per cent for residential and 20 per cent for tourist (rental) accommodation.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
News
The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
news
Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own