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PROPERTY

Property in Austria: A roundup of the latest news and info

Stay up-to-date on the latest Austrian property news with The Local's weekly roundup.

Property in Austria: A roundup of the latest news and info
Austria's property market has been booming for two years, but there are signs that demand is decreasing. (Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash)

Thinking of buying a house, moving house, investing or just curious about the property market in Austria? 

Here’s our first edition of our weekly property wrap. 

No sign of a price drop in the Austrian property market

Since the start of the pandemic last year, property prices in Austria have continued to increase with no sign of it slowing down yet.

Raiffeisen Research expects prices in the real estate market to keep rising throughout 2021 and interest rates are not expected to increase until 2025.

As a result, demand remains high among investors and private buyers with a recent survey by real estate broker Interhyp AG revealing 73 percent of tenants want to own property.

This coincides with results from the Property Index 2021 by Deloitte that shows new apartments in Austria are the most expensive in Europe at €4,457 per square metre – an increase of 5.84 percent from last year.

This means a 70 square meter apartment costs an average of 10.6 times the national annual salary. 

Gabriele Etzl, real estate expert and partner at Jank Weiler Operenyi / Deloitte Legal, said: “Despite the year of the Corona crisis, housing prices in Austria continue to rise. 

“The rising construction costs and the high attractiveness of real estate as an investment form are the main reasons for this price development.

“At the moment everything indicates that this trend will intensify in the next few months.”

READ MORE: New apartment prices in Austria are highest in Europe

The Austrian National Bank recently warned of overheating in the property market but other experts, like Michael Haller, CEO at Hypo Vorarlberg Bank, are not worried about a possible risk for investors.

Instead, Haller told ORF he expects prices will soon stabilise at the current rate, “with slight fluctuations upwards or downwards” after that.

Additionally, Andreas Luschnig, Manager of Interhyp in Vienna, told the Salzburger Nachrichten that this is a good time to consider housing finance as interest rates remain low.

The cost of renting in Austria is going up

According to the Kronen Zeitung, “private sector rents have exploded” in Vienna with a square metre now costing on average €10.

This means landlords are receiving 50 percent more in rent than they were 10 years ago.

An increase in rent prices in Austria’s capital city is not restricted to the private sector either, with the municipal sector going up by 23 percent and cooperatives by 29 percent in the past 10 years.

FOR MEMBERS: ANALYSIS: Where are real estate prices on the rise in Austria?

However, Innsbruck has been named as the most expensive city in Austria for rent following a study by Immowelt. In Innsbruck, the average rent is €18,80 per square meter.

Towns in the east of Austria, such as Jennersdorf in Burgenland, are the cheapest places to rent where people pay less than €7 per square meter.

Salzburg is the second most expensive city for rent in Austria at €16,0 per square meter.

In July of this year, the average rent price in Austria rose by 1.2 percent due to inflation.

Is it still possible to find a bargain in the Austrian capital of Vienna? Photo by Geula Prochazka on Unsplash

The luxury homes market is booming

The luxury homes property market has performed well throughout the pandemic as wealthy buyers search for more space and a quieter lifestyle outside of the main cities.

This is being driven by a move towards remote work and wealthy Austrian citizens overseas looking for a new base in their home country, according to an article in Der Standard.

Real estate agents in Austria are also reporting an increase in enquiries from people in Germany searching for a luxury home in Salzburg or the surrounding area.

READ MORE: Can foreigners buy property in Austria?

Another article highlighted the luxury property market in the Kitzbühel district of Tyrol, which has increased by 20 percent since the start of the pandemic.

Mortgage Broker Manfred Hagsteiner told Der Standard that some houses are selling for up to €25 million and that the ceiling on prices “has still not been reached”.

Earlier this year, Peter Marschall, CEO at Marschall Real Estate, told The Local that German buyers have been flocking to Kitzbühel in Tyrol due its close proximity to Munich. 

“People want to own a second home in a nice area,” he said.

“The crisis has highlighted these areas to international buyers more than Vienna.”

Did you know?

The City of Vienna has a rent calculator for tenants to find out if they are paying too much rent and might be due a refund.

Rent in Vienna is famously affordable due to rent control rules on buildings built before 1945 which are smaller than 131m2. These high-ceilinged buildings are also known as Altbau.

However, experts predict that 80 percent of tenants could be paying too much rent to live in these properties.

The rent calculator can be found at the City of Vienna website.

FOR MEMBERS: How to find out if you are paying too much rent in Vienna

The property roundup is new addition and we’d welcome any feedback or suggestions for areas it should cover. Please email us at [email protected]

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LIVING IN AUSTRIA

What is Austria’s Mutter-Kind-Pass and how is it changing?

The Mutter-Kind-Pass is hitting the headlines as the Austrian Federal Government plans a reform of the scheme. Here's how it works now, why it is necessary and how it will change in the future.

What is Austria’s Mutter-Kind-Pass and how is it changing?

The Mutter-Kind-Pass (Mother-Child-Pass) was launched in Austria in 1974 to ensure the health and wellbeing of pregnant women and their babies.

It grants pregnant women free access to essential examinations and consultations, and serves as a record of healthcare.

But big changes are on the cards for the pass as a digitization reform is planned for the coming years, while disputes continue about the cost of the scheme.

Here’s what you need to know about how the Mutter-Kind-Pass works, why it’s necessary and how it will change. 

FOR MEMBERS: What are the rules about turning on the heating in the workplace in Austria?

What is the Mutter-Kind-Pass?

The Mutter-Kind-Pass is a small, yellow passport-style document to provide and track healthcare for pregnant women and young children in Austria.

It is issued to a woman when a pregnancy is confirmed by a doctor and contains records of medical examinations during pregnancy. As well as health check-ups for the child up to five years of age.

The Mutter-Kind-Pass exists to ensure pregnant women and children get the necessary medical care they need.

For example, women in Austria are entitled to five medical check-ups throughout their pregnancy including blood tests, internal examinations, ultrasound scans and consultations with a midwife.

READ ALSO: Reader question: Am I liable for ambulance costs in Austria?

Who can get the Mutter-Kind-Pass and how much does it cost?

Any pregnant woman living in Austria can get the Mutter-Kind-Pass (and subsequent health examinations) for free.

However, all examinations must take place with a doctor that is registered with a health insurance company in Austria.

Women without health insurance need a confirmation of entitlement from the Austrian health insurance fund that is responsible for the area where they live.

This is a required step before any examinations can take place free of charge.

Why is the pass necessary?

The Mutter-Kind-Pass and its mandatory examinations are primarily used to detect any illnesses or possible complications early. 

The expected date of delivery is also entered into the Mutter-Kind-Pass, so the document is needed to receive maternity pay in Austria.

Additionally, proof of examinations are required to receive the full entitlement to childcare allowance (Kinderbetreuungsgeld). This means the pass should be taken to every maternity-related appointment, as recommended by the Österreichische Gesundheitskasse.

How is the Mutter-Kind-Pass being reformed?

On Wednesday 16th November, Minister for Women and Family Affairs Susanne Raab (ÖVP) and Minister of Health Johannes Rauch (Greens) announced a reform of the Mutter-Kind-Pass.

The most notable change will be a transition from the paper booklet to a digital app in 2024, as well as new services and a name change to the Eltern-Kind-Pass (Parent-Child-Pass).

Raab said: “In addition to the services in the area of ​​health care, we will introduce parent advice, which should be a compass for the new phase of life for new parents.”

The new services will include counselling, an extra consultation with a midwife, an additional ultrasound, hearing screenings for newborns, nutritional and health advice, and multilingual information in digital form.

Photo by Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash

In the future, parents-to-be and new parents will also be offered parenting advice when they have their first child, for example on the compatibility of employment and childcare, on the division of parental leave or on the effects of part-time work on pensions.

“The mother-child pass has been an essential part of maternal and child health in Austria for decades. Now we have managed together to further develop this important instrument in a contemporary form”, said Rauch.

READ NEXT: EXPLAINED: What you need to know about parental leave in Austria

The implementation of the parent-child passport is a comprehensive, multi-year project and will begin with digitisation from next year.

The annual budget for the Mutter-Kind-Pass is currently €62 million and an additional €10 million from EU funds has been allocated to cover the cost of the reforms. 

However, there have been debates in recent months about the general cost of the pass. 

As a result there are ongoing negotiations between insurance companies and the Medical Association about the reimbursement of fees for providing healthcare and examinations.

READ ALSO: ‘Better and cheaper’: What foreigners really think about childcare in Austria

Der Standard reports that the Medical Association is threatening to discontinue the Mutter-Kind-Pass at the end of the year if an agreement on doctors fees cannot be reached. If that were to happen, expectant mothers would have to pay for examinations.

Currently, doctors receive €18.02 per examination and the Association is calling for an 80 percent increase.

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